After setting an all-time record for the 20th day spring enrollment with a student headcount of 5,472, Fort Hays State University has set yet another record with enrollments since the 20th day.
As of the close of the semester, the official spring supplemental enrollment was 5,894 -- an additional 422 students since the 20th day.
The Kansas Board of Regents uses the 20th day number as a basis of comparison for its six universities, but the continuing growth of FHSU's Virtual College means that the 20th day headcount number is no longer a very accurate gauge of enrollment trends at the university. Historically, nearly all college students enrolled at the beginning of a semester. That has changed. The FHSU Virtual College offers many "asynchronous" courses, which are geared toward students whose jobs or family responsibilities make attendance in traditional classes difficult. These distance education courses allow students to start at various times throughout the semester. Because of the impact of this "rolling" enrollment in the Virtual College, numbers continue to climb throughout a semester.
Dr. Edward H. Hammond, FHSU president, praised the efforts of faculty and staff for the all-time record in spring enrollment. "Everyone works hard to grow our institution," he said. "Even in tight budget times we will continue to serve Kansans. Our recommendation to the Kansas Board of Regents for a combined increase in tuition and fees of just 5.01 percent for the 2002-03 academic year was the lowest recommendation by any of the state universities. We expect the Regents to approve our recommendation, and we expect our university to continue to grow."
Joey Linn, FHSU registrar and assistant vice president for student affairs, said that until this year, the highest spring enrollment had been the official supplemental enrollment of 5,649 in 1999, followed by the official supplemental enrollment of 5,549 in spring 2001. The new record for the spring 2002 semester was an increase of 345 students -- or 5.9 percent -- from the final spring enrollment a year ago.
The official 20th day headcount for the Virtual College was 1,281, which was the largest ever, and that number grew to 1,674 in the official supplemental 2002 spring enrollment. The Virtual College delivers courses from FHSU's College of Business and Leadership, College of Education, College of Health and Life Sciences, and College of Arts and Sciences over the Internet, on videotape and by other means throughout Kansas and beyond.
President Hammond said the record enrollment numbers were especially exciting because they were achieved as the university celebrates its Centennial throughout the year of 2002.