HAYS, KS -- The 20th-day enrollment count of 7,165 students on Feb. 9 set an all-time record for spring semesters at Fort Hays State University, but continuing enrollments during the semester sent the final count soaring to 8,569 students.
From the 20th day to the end of the semester, FHSU added 12 on-campus students and 1,392 Virtual College students.
The 8,569 enrollment far surpasses the final enrollment for the spring 2004 semester of 7,932. It also comes near the university's single all-time record of 8,957 students, which was the final enrollment count for the fall 2004 semester. Universities' spring enrollments are typically lower than fall enrollments.
The Kansas Board of Regents uses the 20th-day counts each semester as a basis of comparison for its six universities. Because of the tremendous success of its Virtual College -- which offers courses and degrees at a distance to students across the United States, around the world in the Armed Forces and to students at four "partner" universities in China -- FHSU sees an abnormally large increase in enrollment between the 20th day and the end of the semester.
"We attribute these enrollment records to our affordable tuition and fees and to our tremendous academic success," said Dr. Edward H. Hammond, FHSU president.
While the other Kansas Board of Regents universities have imposed large tuition increases in recent years, FHSU has held its increases to single digits while maintaining a reputation for academic excellence and close personal attention for its students.
"We are the most affordable four-year school in Kansas, and we offer the best undergraduate program of study thanks to our cutting edge technology and the personal attention our students receive from faculty," the president said.
In an interesting side note, U.S. Census Bureau data showed that by 2001 there were 17 percent more Americans enrolled in college than in 1990. FHSU saw only a 2.2-percent increase during that same period (20th day fall 1990 enrollment of 5,501 compared to 20th day fall 2001 enrollment of 5,626). However, with the introduction of its Affordable Success strategy, FHSU has seen a 55.8 percent increase in its enrollment from 1990 to the present (20th day fall 1990 enrollment of 5,501 compared to final spring 2005 enrollment of 8,569).