K-State reports lowest fall semester enrollment since 1990

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Sep. 30—Kansas State University's fall semester enrollment is at its lowest point in more than three decades.

University administrators announced Thursday that fall 2021 enrollment is 20,229 students. This is a decrease of 625 students, or 3%, from the fall 2020 semester when the university reported a headcount of 20,854 students. For fall 2019, the university tallied 21,719 students.

This is the lowest enrollment figure the university has observed since 1990. The previous lowest enrollment figure during that timespan was 24 years ago in fall 1997, when there were 20,306 students at K-State.

University officials said in a statement Thursday that new student enrollment, including freshmen and transfer students, dipped 1% from last year.

The decline in enrollment at the university started after reaching a peak of 24,766 students in the fall of 2014. Since that time, K-State enrollment has dropped 18.3%, or 4,537 students. University officials said they planned for a "slight decrease" in enrollment and they "do not anticipate any effect" on the university's budget for the current school year.

K-State's Aerospace and Technology Campus in Salina saw enrollment growth for the fall 2021 semester. There are 741 students enrolled, up from 649 for fall 2020. K-State Online enrollment also rose slightly, from 2,763 in fall 2020 to 2,837 for this fall.

Among the six Regents state universities, Wichita State University and the University of Kansas reported enrollment increases.

Wichita State University posted the biggest percentage increase at 3.5%. This fall, Wichita State has 16,097 students, up 547 students from 15,550 in fall 2020.

The fall 2021 headcount for KU tallied 27,685 students — up 66 students from the fall 2020 semester enrollment figure of 27,619. That is an increase of about 0.2%.

The other three Regents universities posted larger percentage decreases than K-State.

Fort Hays State University noted a 6.2% decrease from 15,033 in fall 2020 to 14,104 this year. Pittsburg State University observed a 6% decrease, from 6,398 in fall 2020 to 6,017 this year. Emporia State University decrease by 213 students, or 3.7%, from 5,828 in fall 2020 to 5,615 this semester.

Manhattan Area Technical College reported an increase in fall enrollment. For fall 2021, MATC noted 876 students, up 79 students from the fall 2020 figure of 797. For fall 2019, MATC recorded a headcount of 906 students.

Overall, enrollment in Regents institutions for the fall semester increased, from a total headcount of 165,251 students in fall 2020 to 166,918 this semester. This is an increase of 1%.

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