Archive for Friday, September 27, 2013

KU enrollment continues to fall while incoming students’ ACT goes up

September 27, 2013


Kansas University's fall enrollment is down for the fifth straight year, but school officials touted a larger freshmen class that had record ACT scores.

Total enrollment for the current semester is 27,784, which is 155 fewer students than in fall 2012, according to figures released today. It is also 2,318 students fewer than the school's 30,102 in 2008. That is a 7.7 percent drop in 5 years.

Fall enrollment at the Lawrence and Edwards campuses stands at 24,435 students, which is a drop of 142; and 3,349 students at the KU Medical Center, a decline of 13.

KU rival Kansas State University recorded an increase of 203 students to make its 24,581-student enrollment more than KU's Lawrence and Edwards campuses. K-State's total, however, includes its campus in Salina and its veterinary school, and it still trails KU's total enrollment, counting the medical school.

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Fall enrollment ( .PDF )

Despite the lower total enrollment numbers at KU, officials focused on KU's freshman class of 4,000 students, up 6.1 percent from last year's figure of 3,771.

The average freshman ACT score was 25.3, up two-tenths of a point from last year's average. More than one-fifth, 21.8 percent, are minority students, an increase from 21.3 percent last year.

"Students are recognizing the advantages of studying at a flagship research university and all the opportunities that come with being a Jayhawk," KU Chancellor Bernadette Gray-Little said. "That so many top scholars are choosing KU is a testament to the high quality of our academic programs, as well as to our revitalized recruitment efforts."

She added, "The goal now will be to help our new Jayhawks be successful in their first year, so that they can stay on track to graduate on time."

The decline in overall enrollment at KU was due to a drop of 344 in the number of students seeking master's degrees.

Undergraduate student enrollment stood at 19,199, up from 19,140; master's enrollment was at 3,170, a decrease from 3,514; and doctoral students numbered 5,415, an increase from 5,285.

"There is growing competition when it comes to master’s degree programs," KU Provost and Executive Vice Chancellor Jeffrey Vitter said. "We’re responding to that challenge by creating more flexible offerings and through entirely online programs, such as the special education master’s degree launched earlier this month," Vitter said.

Vitter also said the university is making changes to how graduate students are recruited, and working to increase funding that can be offered, particularly for doctoral students.

Preliminary fall enrollment figures released today by the Kansas Board of Regents show a system-wide decrease of 1.33 percent, or 2,504 students, across the state's 32 public universities, community colleges and technical colleges.

The fall semester enrollment total is 186,190 as of census day at each institution, a preliminary headcount of students enrolled at each institution on the 20th day of class.

Statewide, enrollment was nearly flat at the seven public universities, with a decrease of 123 students; technical colleges saw an increase of 472 students, while community colleges fell by more than 3,000 students.


bd 4 years, 7 months ago

Thanks to resticted admissions!!!!!!!!!!

doctordave77 4 years, 7 months ago

It's still open enrollment, no restrictions yet.


Miles Nease 4 years, 7 months ago

Does KU count online students? According to an article in the Capital-Journal about last year's numbers, the College does count online students in their total enrollment. It really doesn't matter. The College will continue to exceed our enrollment numbers because of our higher admission standards. We are not alone. The flagship universities of Michigan, Arizona, Virginia and many others are smaller than their land-grant counterparts, because of higher standards.

Steve Bunch 4 years, 7 months ago

"Flagship university" blah, blah, blah. Online master's in special ed? Wow. KSU has dozens of online graduate degrees and realizes that people seeking graduate credentials aren't willing to quit jobs and uproot their families to move to Manhattan. The flagship is adrift.

Steve Bunch 4 years, 7 months ago

In my experience, many of the GTAs and adjuncts were better in the classroom than their tenured counterparts.

Steve Bunch 4 years, 7 months ago

Researchers bring in dollars and can be invaluable to the graduate students who work under them.

yourworstnightmare 4 years, 7 months ago

People would also love it if degrees were just given away for a fee. Or better yet for free without any work involved. That would also appear to be filling a need.

Many online "courses" and "degree programs" are getting dangerously close to being fee-for-degree, or degree mills.

phoggydrive 4 years, 7 months ago

Would love to know the average ACT score of the other institutions.

yourworstnightmare 4 years, 7 months ago

KU should strive to attract the best students by raising admissions standards. There will be a temporary drop in enrollment, but the students who do attend will be better prepared and will be less likely to drop out.

These factors will help KU's rankings in synergistic ways (increased admission standards, increased freshman retention, increased numbers graduating in 4 years).

Increased rankings will attract more and better students from KU and the region, and enrollment should start to go up again, but this time with better students who are better prepared.

Perseverating about short-term drops in enrollment and heeding calls for populist "give the people what they want" style of education will only result in KU's continued slide.

yourworstnightmare 4 years, 7 months ago

The right wing likes rankings and metrics when used to punish and defund schools (e.g. No Child Left behind). But when used as a metric for excellence and improvement that might cost money, no way.

Yes, the rankings mean nothing. KU is truly better than Harvard, Michigan, Stanford, UNC, and the 90 or so other schools ranked higher than it.

I would rather take my chances with USNWR rankings than with the rank Kansas legislature.

nativeson 4 years, 7 months ago

KU has been and continues to be the worst school in active recruitment in the state. They demonstrate a disorganized and disinterested recruiting effort that reflects poorly on a great institution.

stevieboy 4 years, 7 months ago

Lawrence does have a reputation in the state as being a high crime city.Also a very liberal city,not every ones cup of tea.

deec 4 years, 7 months ago

It's funny that no one has mentioned escalating tuition and student loan costs as a possible cause of declining enrollment. Maybe today's young people don't want to become part of the $1 trillion in outstanding student debt across the nation. When that bubble bursts, it will be a big problem.

llirrem 4 years, 7 months ago

@nativeson says... - if recruitment efforts are so awful how do you explain an increase of 6.1 in the freshman class as well as higher act profile and increased diversity? Looks to me like undergraduate recruiting is getting it done.

yourworstnightmare 4 years, 7 months ago

Right. Dynamic processes are at times difficult for the simple to comprehend.

nativeson 4 years, 7 months ago

llirrem - I speak from a standpoint of data and personal experience. Recession or not, KU has not had the same success as KState nor Arkansas with undergraduate. You can argue about the comparative quality of schools, but first-hand experience having kids in the age group (confirmed by plenty of other parents) is that the recruiting experience is night and day. KU is disorganized and unresponsive relative to adjacent state schools.

Data - One year does not a trend make. The growth of 6% comes after a loss in freshman enrollment of over 15% over the last 5 years. Freshman enrollment approached 4500 in 2008. Clearly, the development of the renewal scholarship program is a great development.

Richard Heckler 4 years, 7 months ago

ALEC Governors are on record as economic disasters therefore avoiding at least 16 states like the plague is considered a wise investment.

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