First-day enrollment figures at Kansas University show an increase of 678 students this fall over the first-day total of 1991, according to figures released today by KU.
The student population at KU totaled 27,704 for the fall semester, up about 2.5 percent from the 1991 first-day fall semester count of 27,026.
The university's official enrollment will be calculated in September on the 20th day of classes.
"Two significant national trends are mirrored in our enrollment figures for fall 1992," Chancellor Gene Budig said in a statement. "There is a widespread upturn in interest in the health sciences, as well as a jump in graduate enrollments because of the economy.
"Graduate enrollments, over the years, have tended to grow during difficult economic times," he said. "Advanced studies are regarded as the best investment for the future when the economy recovers."
KU'S GRADUATE school enrollment increased by 407 students to 5,536.
The Lawrence campus total for first-day enrollment is 23,910, an increase of 561 students. The medical center campuses in Kansas City, Kan., and Wichita increased by 226 students to 2,621.
At KU's off-campus sites, including the Regents Center in Overland Park and the Capitol Complex Center in Topeka, enrollment was 1,173, a decrease of 109.
"In addition to national trends, the University of Kansas has experienced growth in the number of undergraduate students," Budig said. "We anticipated that growth through a number of students attending our summer orientation programs and were prepared for the additional students when they arrived."
First-day undergraduate enrollment increased by 271 students from 21,897 in 1991 to 22,168 in 1992.
KU has recorded first-day enrollment increases the past eight years. The last first-day decline was posted in 1983.
ON THE Lawrence campus, two schools registered large enrollment increases: The School of Social Welfare swelled to 617 students, an increase of 118 over the 1991 total, and the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences increased 268 students to 13,413.
Schools with the largest decreases were business, down 65 students, and journalism, down 58 students.
Not all institutions in Kansas reported an overall preliminary increase in enrollment.
On Monday, the first day of fall semester classes, 14,447 students were enrolled at Wichita State University. Enrollment stood at 14,882 on the first day of classes a year ago there.
Kansas State University reported an preliminary increase in enrollment, but only slightly. Preliminary fall enrollment at KSU's main campus in Manhattan showed an increase of 29 students to 17,998, compared with 17,969 a year ago, officials said.
KU'S NEW Executive Vice Chancellor Ed Meyen said students respect the quality of KU's programs.
"Having our enrollment increase this year spread across all levels of our academic programs on the Lawrence campus and at the medical center is helpful," he said.
"Accurately predicting enrollment increases at the level of specific programs is not possible in an institution with open admissions."