FHSU sets another enrollment record: Wichita/Sedgwick County sends largest-ever contingent of freshmen to Hays campus

Fort Hays State University, which has doubled its enrollment over the past decade, had an official 20th-day headcount of 11,883 students for the fall semester.

A year ago, on the 20th day of the fall 2009 semester, FHSU reported an enrollment of 11,308 students. The increase this semester of 575 students represents growth of 5.1 percent over the past year. The 20th day of classes is the official enrollment day observed by the Kansas Board of Regents at each of its six universities to provide a standard basis for comparison.

"Besides the obvious importance of yet another overall enrollment record, this year's report is significant because it indicates on-campus enrollment is on the upswing," said Dr. Edward H. Hammond, FHSU president.

The president cited several indicators:
·    This is the largest ever on-campus group of freshmen from Sedgwick County (Wichita);
·    This year's on-campus freshman class is the third largest in the last 20 years with 854 students;
·    It is the largest on-campus freshman class in the last 30 years from Finney County (Garden City);
·    The number of on-campus freshmen from Saline County (Salina) has doubled over the past 10 years;
·    Of the 854 freshmen on campus, 9.4 percent of them are from Colorado;
·    With 418 students, this is the largest class in more than 15 years of students who transferred to FHSU from community colleges or other universities;
·    With 243 students, there is a 49.1-percent increase in the number of on-campus Hispanic students from a year ago, which is an all-time record; and
·    The percentage of Hays High School graduates attending this fall is one of the highest ever.

"It says a lot about our educational excellence that those who know us best -- the graduates from Hays High -- are selecting FHSU in ever greater numbers," he said.

FHSU continues to see tremendous growth in the Virtual College, which makes a college education accessible to students who might not be able to relocate themselves and their families to a university community. The Virtual College delivers courses to students at locations and times that fit their busy schedules. It delivers "mediated" courses from FHSU's College of Arts and Sciences, College of Business and Leadership, College of Education and Technology, and College of Health and Life Sciences through various formats, including but not limited to interactive television, video, CD-ROM and the Internet.

Virtual College enrollment on the 20th day, for students located in Kansas, other states and the U.S. military, was 4,009, an increase of 226 students, or 6.0 percent, from the 20th day enrollment of 3,783 in the fall 2009 semester.

Virtual College enrollment for FHSU students at partner universities in China was 3,459, an increase of 277 students, or 8.7 percent, from the 20th day enrollment of 3,182 in the fall 2009 semester. FHSU continues to be the leading provider of undergraduate education in China that is not a Chinese university.

The on-campus 20th-day enrollment also grew significantly. "For many students, the better choice is to become immersed in the campus atmosphere," the president said. "There is so much to be gained outside the classroom in the wide-ranging choices of extracurricular activities."

On-campus headcount for fall 2010 was 4,415, an increase of 72 students, or 1.7 percent, from the fall 2009 enrollment of 4,343.

President Hammond thanked faculty and staff for their efforts in producing the university's record growth over the past several years. "We depend on our faculty and support staff for our high level of academic rigor, and it is our affordability coupled with our high quality that drive this growth," he said. "We are a university that believes students, faculty and staff should be forward thinking and world ready, and our continued growth is just one more proof of our ability to find solutions through innovation and hard work."

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Kent Steward, Director   |  ksteward@fhsu.edu  |  Kurt Beyers, Assistant Director   |  kbeyers@fhsu.edu