Fort Hays State University set a new record for fall enrollment this semester with a 2.9 percent increase in students.
This semester’s enrollment is the largest class of incoming freshmen in FHSU history with an increase of 384 students since the fall semester of 2013. Fall enrollment in 2013 totaled 13,441 students by the 20th day of the semester. With the record setting increase, FHSU’s total headcount by the 20th day this semester was 13,825 students.
“The rising enrollment numbers here at Fort Hays are important because the rise helps keep tuition affordable for students,” said Tisa Mason, vice president of Student Affairs. “I think potential students value our friendly and approachable staff and faculty.”
Of the 13,825 students enrolled this fall, 4,800 of them are on-campus students. The number of on-campus students last fall was 4,767, which presents an increase of 33 students in 2014. The number of online students has also increased from last fall with the virtual colleges headcount rising from 5,380 students to 5,860 students in 2014.
The number of students originating from Kansas increased this fall, as well. Kansas students enrolling this fall as compared to last fall makes the total 7,141, which is a 3.5 percent increase from last fall’s total.
Some of the other demographics that saw improvement were the rate of transfer students at a 25.7 percent increase and a 14.6 percent increase in freshman from Nebraska.
Retention rates (the rates of students that return to FHSU after their first year) have also seen an increase from last year.
“Retention rates are climbing steadily every year,” said Brett Bruner, director of Persistence and Retention. “The retention rate went from 67 percent in 2013 to 69.1 percent this year. Transfer students have also seen a rise in retention with 73.4 percent last year to 77.06 percent this year.”
“I believe it’s a result of our ability to help students become involved here, and find something or someone here at Hays that students can connect to,” Bruner said.
With enrollment numbers and retention rates steadily climbing, the goal established by former President Hammond to have 20,000 students by 2020 may be reached.