Correction 1:53 p.m. This is a correction to the initial news release on FHSU's enrollment increase. Enrollment actually rose 442 students for fall 2017.
With an all-time high enrollment of 15,100, Fort Hays State University has constructed a 17th consecutive record fall enrollment.
The numbers announced by the Kansas Board of Regents today show FHSU increased by 442, or 3.02 percent, from the fall 2016 headcount of 14,658 on the 20th day of classes.
The 20th day, set by the Regents as the official enrollment day to provide a standard basis of comparison from year to year, was Sept.18 for Fort Hays State. Regents policy is to hold any announcement of enrollments until numbers are in and verified for all Regents institutions.
“The focus on academic excellence and student success at FHSU has yielded yet another record enrollment,” said Dr. Joey Linn, vice president for student affairs.
“It is truly exciting to be part of one of the few growing universities in the Midwest,” he continued. “The ever-changing footprint of the campus with the addition of the new construction projects is certainly forward-thinking. However, it is the people at FHSU that truly make a difference. The faculty and staff are difference-makers and provide the student success framework for both our on-campus students and our virtual population.”
Linn highlighted the growth as one of the reasons FHSU has been able to build new residence halls and academic and support buildings in a time when most universities are reducing staff and shutting down buildings.
FHSU delivers college courses through three modalities – on campus, through the FHSU Virtual College and to students at partner universities around the world, primarily in China.
FHSU enrollment at the university’s international partners totaled 3,570 this year, up 318 from 3,252, an increase of 9.78 percent. That marks a second straight year of increase in this area after several years of gradual decline.
This fall’s enrollment in the FHSU Virtual College, 6,882, was an increase of 188, or 2.81 percent, from last year’s 6,694. Virtual College growth includes a record number of graduate students, 2,223, up 23 from fall 2016.
On-campus enrollment this year is 4,648, down 64, or 1.36 percent, from fall 2016.
“We had a record number of graduates last year, so we knew keeping our on-campus numbers up this fall was going to be a challenge,” said Dr. Dennis King, assistant vice president of student affairs for enrollment management.
“Our Office of Admissions did a fabulous job recruiting and supporting the largest freshman class in the history of FHSU. In addition, the Virtual College and the Kansas Academy of Mathematics and Science set records – a real team effort,” he said.
The record on-campus freshman class for 2017 of 990 is an increase from last fall of 53, or 5.66 percent, and is the largest in university history. New freshmen in the Virtual College were also up to 121 from 95.
“We are excited not only to have the largest freshman class in FHSU history but also to have such a diverse class,” said Admissions Director Tricia Cline.
“This class includes an increase in the number of Kansans as well as an increase in the number of out-of-state students,” she said.
Hispanic enrollment, which remains an area of focus for the Regents, also increased. On-campus Hispanic enrollment increased from 508 in 2016 to 534 in the fall of 2017. That increase of 26 students reflects an increase in the number of first-time Hispanic freshmen, which is 132 this year, up from 106 in fall 2016.
Total Hispanic enrollment for this semester is 1,090, up from 1,050 in fall 2016. The total number includes Virtual College students and Hispanic students from other countries.
This fall’s class of incoming freshmen has 779 Kansans, up from 763 last fall, and 177 out-of-state students, up from 161 last fall, with the remainder from other countries.