KU enjoyeda modest increase in enrollment, while the numbers at Emporia State, the smallest of the six Regents institutions, dropped dramatically.
After a drop in enrollment the previous academic year, Kansas University -- and three other state universities -- saw an increase in students this year, officials announced Thursday.
Head count at Kansas Board of Regents universities was 79,703, an increase of 41 students, or 0.1 percent from fall 1996.
The tally on the official "20th day" of classes was 27,567 on all KU campuses, an increase of 160 students or 0.6 percent from fall 1996, the board announced.
Enrollment on the main campus in Lawrence jumped 234 students to 25,108. KU Medical Center had 2,459 students, a reduction of 74. The medical center's enrollment also dropped last year by 70 students.
Among other regents universities, Emporia State University and Pittsburg State University had a significant reduction in enrollment. ESU lost 452 students, for a total of 5,320, while PSU lost 130 students, for a total of 6,225.
Of the six main regents campuses, Wichita State University saw the biggest gain in enrollment, 405 students, or a 2.8 percent jump, for a total of 14,669 students. And Kansas State University posted an enrollment gain of 18 students, a 0.1 percent jump, for a total of 19,202 students.
At KU's main campus, "The growth is primarily in the freshman class," said Kathleen McCluskey-Fawcett.
In fact, enrollment of first-time freshmen at Kansas University increased for the third-straight year. Between fall 1996 and fall 1997, first-time freshman enrollment jumped 7.1 percent, from 3,644 students to 3,901.
Recruiting procedures, including an increase in faculty involvement in calling potential students, likely played a role, McCluskey-Fawcett said.
"The departments are making direct contact with the students," she added. "I think that's making a big difference, especially with the National Merit students."
This fall, 90 National Merit Scholars enrolled at KU.
KU's off-campus enrollment, primarily at the KU Regents Center in Overland Park, totaled 1,818, an increase of 174 students. The Regents Center offers 12 graduate-degree programs.
The total number of students enrolled in off-campus courses at regents institutions decreased by 316, for a total of 4,729.
The total number of Kansas residents enrolled at regents institutions this fall increased 0.3 percent, or 209 students, bringing the total to 63,585. The number of nonresident students dropped 168 students, for a total of 16,118.