Spring 2015 continues long pattern of record enrollment growth at FHSU

Fort Hays State University, which has been setting records regularly since the turn of the century, has set another all-time record for enrollment in a spring semester. And the record enrollment for this semester will be even higher when final numbers arrive from China.

The official 20th-day enrollment for spring 2015 is 11,889, which surpasses the enrollment of 11,573 from spring 2014 by 316 students. That is an increase of 2.7 percent, and it does not include additional enrollments that will arrive from China over the next couple of weeks. At present, FHSU enrollments at partner universities in China stand at 1,534, but the start of the spring semester there is delayed by the Chinese New Year.

"Our combination of high quality and affordability has produced tremendous growth each year for the past 15 years," Dr. Mirta M. Martin, FHSU president, said. "According to a U.S. News and World Report ranking released in fall 2014, Fort Hays State has the second-lowest tuition and fees of any university in the country for in-state students. When you combine low tuition with our many academic programs of distinction taught by excellent faculty and supported by dedicated staff, it is no wonder that Fort Hays State is the destination of choice for record numbers of students year after year."

Fort Hays State delivers courses through three modalities: in traditional classrooms on the Hays campus; online through the Virtual College; and through the partnerships in China.

On-campus enrollment grew by 16 students to 4,392, up from 4,376 a year ago. Virtual College enrollment grew by 427 students to 5,963 from 5,536 students in spring 2014, an increase of 7.7 percent.

Dr. Joey Linn, FHSU's interim vice president for student affairs, pointed out an enrollment area of special interest. He said the number of Kansans enrolled at Fort Hays State this spring was 6,755, an increase of 89 students, or 1.3 percent, from 6,666 a year ago. In spring 2010, 5,762 Kansans were enrolled in FHSU classes. So just in the past five years, the number of Kansans enrolled at Fort Hays State has increased by 993 students, or 17.2 percent.

Hispanic enrollment has been another area of emphasis for the Kansas Board of Regents. President Martin noted that the number of Hispanic students enrolled on campus grew to 365 this spring compared to 327 in spring 2014, an increase of 11.6 percent.

The number of students who identify themselves as African-American also continues to trend upward. The number of black students on campus this semester is 112 compared to 102 last spring. Total enrollment -- both on campus and in the Virtual College -- is 490 for spring 2015 compared to 292 last year. That is an increase of 68.0 percent in black enrollment at Fort Hays State in just one year.

Growth also continues to be strong in the Graduate School. The total number of graduate students is 2,217 this spring compared to 2,067 in spring 2014, which is an increase of 150 students, or 7.3 percent.

"We almost take for granted our record enrollments over the past several years, but these increases do not happen by accident," said Linn, who oversees enrollment management. "The faculty and staff are truly dedicated and work hard to make it happen. We are able to maintain the high quality of education at FHSU because everyone is willing to step up and do what needs to be done to serve these larger numbers of students."

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