Highest enrollment ever

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FHSU counts more than 14,000 students, sets new enrollment record

09/25/15 ks

HAYS, Kan. -- More students than ever before have made Fort Hays State University their destination of choice for the fall 2015 semester.

The university announced yet another all-time headcount record for the official 20th day of the fall semester, which was Monday, Sept. 14, with a total of 14,210 students.

"We expect to grow because our outreach initiatives and our combination of an excellent faculty, outstanding academic programs and dedicated staff make Fort Hays State the best choice for people who want all the benefits that higher education can bring," said Dr. Mirta M. Martin, FHSU president. "However, we do not take our growth for granted. The dedication, hard work and expertise of our faculty and staff make us the destination of choice."

FHSU delivers college courses through three modalities -- to students on the Hays campus, to students in the Virtual College and to students at partner universities in China.

The enrollment of 14,210 is an increase of 2.8 percent from last year's 20th-day headcount of 13,825. That is an increase of 385 students from last fall and the largest enrollment in the history of the university.

The Kansas Board of Regents uses the 20th day of classes as the official enrollment day to provide a standard basis for comparison from year to year. This year's numbers were announced today after the last of the six Regents universities passed its 20th day.

The headcount of FHSU students at partner universities in China this fall is 3,124. Last fall it was 3,165 students, which is a decrease of 41 students. That continues a slight decline in enrollment in China, likely resulting at least in part from a downturn in the Chinese economy. The government pays tuition for its students in the partner Chinese universities, but the students have to pay their own tuition to earn FHSU degrees.

On-campus headcount this fall is 4,763 students. Last fall it was 4,800 students. That represents a decrease of 37 students, which is less than 1 percent. Ironically, the improving U.S. economy likely explains that decline. Nationwide there is a historical trend of students leaving college to return to the workforce during economic upturns.

Despite the slight declines in two of the FHSU delivery modalities (on-campus and international), the third modality more than made up the difference. Headcount this fall in the Virtual College is 6,323 students. Last fall it was 5,860 students. That is an increase of 463 students, or 7.9 percent.

The Virtual College makes a college education accessible to students who are unable to relocate to a university community by delivering courses at locations and times that fit their busy schedules. It delivers "mediated" courses from FHSU's College of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences, College of Business and Entrepreneurship, College of Education, and College of Health and Behavioral Sciences through various formats, primarily the Internet.

Just since the 20th day numbers were counted a week ago, 112 new international partner enrollments arrived. "Additional enrollments are still being processed due to our international partnerships starting their semesters after the FHSU start date," said Dr. Joey Linn, vice president of Student Affairs. He joined President Martin in praising the faculty and staff. "Increases don't happen by accident," he said. "Besides offering high quality at an affordable cost, we also offer students an extraordinarily safe and friendly campus, with beautiful facilities and the most modern equipment."

09/25/15 ks
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