Kansas Regents report continuing decline in college enrollment

Published: Oct. 6, 2021 at 8:17 PM CDT
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TOPEKA, Kan. (WIBW) - Full-time enrollment is slightly down in colleges across Kansas.

The Kansas Board of Regents reports that despite 1 and 1.2 percent increases in full-time equivalent enrollment (FTE) at community colleges and technical schools, a 2.4 decrease across the six state universities totals a 1.1 percent decrease for the overall system.

The decrease is concurrent with the trend over the previous five years, with Kansas enrollment dropping 11.2 percent since 2016. Board Chair Cheryl-Harrison Lee says the board is focused on reversing that trend.

“The preliminary fall enrollment report brings mixed results and continues a system-wide trend in declining enrollment over the past five years,” Harrison-Lee said. “We must reverse that trend to meet the workforce needs of our state. The Board’s strategic plan, annual goals and budget ask are focused on initiatives that can leverage our system’s strengths and revitalize the Kansas economy.”

The Board’s report says many colleges saw a large drop in high school student enrollment in 2020 that was closer to normal in 2021. But, those students typically take fewer classes and do not make a significant difference in the FTE numbers.

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