FHSU's 20th-day headcount tops 7,000,
setting all-time record for spring semesters
HAYS, KS -- For most of the last 10 years, enrollment growth at Fort Hays State University was steady, but slow.
By the 20th day of the fall 2001 semester, enrollment was a healthy 5,626 students. Then it soared beyond 6,000 students for the first time in the school's history in the fall 2002 semester, topped 7,000 on the 20th day of the fall 2003 semester, and passed 8,000 by the end of the fall 2003 semester.
Universities' spring enrollments are typically lower than fall enrollments, but FHSU also recorded its highest 20th-day spring enrollment a year ago with a headcount of 5,854 -- 382 more students than the previous record that was set on the 20th day in spring 2002.
Now that spring record of 5,854 has been shattered.
Dr. Edward H. Hammond, FHSU president, announced today that the university's official 20th-day enrollment for spring 2004 is a headcount of 7,158 students. That is a resounding increase of 22.3 percent from the 20th day one year ago.
The Kansas Board of Regents uses the 20th-day number as a basis of comparison for its six universities.
"All the universities in the Kansas Board of Regents system continue to struggle with tight budgets," President Hammond said. "At FHSU, we have resisted significant tuition increases and thereby achieved our goal of making an affordable higher education available for all Kansans. This pattern of rapid growth demonstrates that our strategy is working."
President Hammond said the enrollment records follow naturally from the university's promise of "Affordable Success," which has been realized not only in low tuition but also in the national academic championships by its students and nearly perfect placement rates for its graduates. A recently completed survey of all the May 2003 graduates showed that 98 percent had either found jobs or had been admitted to programs of advanced study.
The spring enrollment includes 4,355 students on campus, which is an increase of 155 -- or 3.7 percent -- from the spring 2003 campus enrollment of 4,200.
Most of the growth for spring 2004 was in FHSU's Virtual College, which delivers courses from FHSU's College of Business and Leadership, College of Education and Technology, 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. The official 20th-day headcount for the Virtual College was 2,803, an increase of 1,149 students -- or 69.5 percent -- over the Virtual College enrollment of 1,654 on the 20th day in spring 2003.
Some of the enrollments from FHSU's partnerships with three universities in China arrived earlier this year, allowing them to be counted in the 20th-day numbers. Last spring most of the Chinese students were counted in the Virtual College's supplemental enrollment after the 20th day. The president said those China numbers were partly responsible for the 69.5-percent increase, but he noted that the Virtual College numbers would continue to grow throughout the spring because distance education courses allow students to start at various times throughout the semester.
The university also saw significant enrollment growth in its Graduate School. The 20th-day headcount for spring 2004 is 1,515 graduate students, which is an increase of 163 students -- 12.1 percent -- from the 20th-day graduate headcount in spring 2003 of 1,352.
Joey Linn, FHSU registrar, credited all the people in offices and departments across campus for working hard to make prospective students aware of the wonderful educational opportunities available at the university, and he especially commended the faculty.
"Our faculty not only help with recruiting, but they work with students in and out of the classroom to assure the high quality that makes 'Affordable Success' a reality at Fort Hays State," Linn said.