KU enrollment fell for the fourth consecutive year on the Lawrence campus to 25,036.
KU freshmen rule.
Enrollment of academic tenderfoots surpassed totals of sophomore, junior and senior classes at Kansas University this fall semester.
But a bigger rookie class -- 5,294 students -- couldn't stave off a 1.4 percent overall enrollment decline.
The official headcount at KU on the 20th day of classes was 27,639, a 407-student drop since last fall.
On KU's main campus in Lawrence, there were 25,036 students. That's 300 fewer than a year ago and 1,625 below the record high in 1991.
In Kansas City, Kan., KU Medical Center enrollment fell by 107 to 2,603.
KU Chancellor Robert Hemenway said he was pleased enrollment of minority students increased 5.7 percent to 2,241. In addition, the average American College Test score for the freshman class climbed 0.1 to 23.5, two points above the 1994 national average.
"It reflects positively about KU's commitment to attracting a diversified and talented student body," he said.
Meanwhile, enrollment also dipped at three of the five other Kansas Board of Regents universities -- Kansas State, Emporia State and Fort Hays State. Increases were recorded at Wichita State and Pittsburg State.
The student population at regents universities was 80,350 or 1.1 percent below last year's figure.
Official main campus tallies: KSU, 19,315, down 229 or 1.2 percent; WSU, 14,568, up 10 or 0.1 percent; PSU, 6,246, up 49 or 0.8 percent; ESU, 5,912, down 163 or 2.7 percent; FHSU, 5,329, down 167 or 3 percent.
Statewide enrollment declined for the fifth consecutive year, mainly due to loss of nonresidents.
A fall in nonresident students can be attributed to higher out-of-state tuition rates at regents universities, said Ray Hauke, the board's budget director.
He also said there was a decline in high school graduates from states that traditionally send students to Kansas -- notably Illinois.
In the past, KU recruited heavily from the Chicago area. KU nonresident enrollment dropped 386 to 8,937. There were 21 fewer Kansans at KU, bringing that total to 18,702.
KU had 5,294 freshmen (up 83), 3,495 sophomores (down 98), 3,856 juniors (up 41) and 4,936 seniors (down 134).
Among the university's academic units, the most severe declines were in liberal arts and education, which both lost 210 students. Liberal arts had 15,058 students, while education had 2,523.
The business school posted the biggest gain: 96 students to 1,266. The journalism school's enrollment increased 39 to 666.