HAYS, Kan. -- Fort Hays State University has been setting records for enrollment since the turn of the century, and the official 20th-day headcount for the spring 2011 semester continues that growth trend with an official tally of 9,955 students.
That is an all-time record 20th-day enrollment for a spring semester at FHSU, but the enrollment will grow by approximately 1,500 students when late-reporting enrollments are received from China, taking it to about 11,500. Some partner universities in China start their spring semesters later than American universities, so FHSU's 20th-day numbers are a bit misleading in the spring.
As of the official 20th day, which was Feb. 9, FHSU's enrollment had climbed by 6.6 percent compared to the 20th day of the spring 2010 semester, with the count of 9,955 this year representing an increase of 613 students over spring enrollment of 9,342 a year ago. The 20th-day headcounts each spring and fall semester provide a snapshot for year-to-year comparisons.
Enrollments increased in each of the three separate FHSU modalities: the Hays campus, the Virtual College and the partnerships with universities in China.
On-campus enrollment grew by 58 students, to 4,073 from 4,015 in spring 2010, an increase of 1.4 percent. Virtual College enrollment grew by 269 students, to 4,173 students from 3,904 in spring 2010, an increase of 6.9 percent. Enrollment in the Chinese partnerships by the 20th day had grown by 286 students, to 1,709 from 1,423 on the 20th day in spring 2010, an increase of 20.1 percent.
"It is also important to note that the number of Kansans enrolled at FHSU, in on-campus and Virtual College classes combined, has increased significantly," said Dr. Edward H. Hammond, FHSU president. "We saw a 3.4 percent increase in the number of Kansans served this spring from spring 2010. The total number of Kansans enrolled in FHSU classes in spring 2011 totaled 5,958, an increase of 196 students from 5,762 in spring 2010. And the 5,762 students last year was an increase of 268 from the 5,494 Kansans in spring 2009. That means that in just the past two years, the number of Kansans enrolled at FHSU in the spring semesters has increased by 464."
Hispanic enrollment has been an area of emphasis for the Board of Regents, and the president noted growth at FHSU from 234 in spring 2009 to 383 in spring 2010 to 459 this spring. So, in just the past three years, FHSU's Hispanic enrollment has grown by 225 students, an increase of 96.2 percent.
The university's growth has special significance in the wake of the nationwide financial collapse that has forced budget reductions for all of the schools in the Regents system.
"We identified growth as one of the components in our four-part budget strategy, along with implementation of efficiencies in our operations, an increase in tuition, and budget reductions within individual offices and academic departments," the president said. "It was imperative that we continue to grow and find new efficiencies so that we can hold down tuition increases and operational budget cuts. We are pleased to see that our enrollment continues to trend upward."