WSU enrollment exceeds 16,000; highest student credit hours in university history

  • More than 16,000 students have enrolled at Wichita State for fall 2019 classes, the most in nearly 30 years.
  • Total student credit hours and full time equivalent (FTE) students are also up.
  • In addition, WSU has seen an increase in under-represented minorities and degree-seeking Hispanic undergraduate students.

For the first time in nearly 30 years, more than 16,000 students have enrolled for fall classes at Wichita State University. The total headcount at WSU for fall 2019 is 16,058 students, an increase of 274 students, or 1.7%, over fall 2018.

Total student course credit hours are 165,903 for fall 2019, an increase of 1% compared to fall 2018 and the highest in WSU history.

As reported today by the Kansas Board of Regents (KBOR), KBOR's defined full time equivalent (FTE) students for WSU is 11,397, an increase of 1% over last fall's 11,285. For KBOR reporting purposes, full time is considered to be 15 hours for undergraduates and 12 hours for graduate students per semester.

According to Provost Richard Muma, WSU has made gains again in its enrollments overall, “but we still face challenges, such as the declining number of high school graduates, increased options for students, and the difficulties students face in financing their education.

“Our first time in college student class was slightly less at 1,579, compared to 1,608 last year, our largest class on record. Continued focus on our multifaceted strategic enrollment management plan, now in its fourth year, is key in addressing these challenges,” Muma said.

Gains were realized in the following categories:

  • Highest percent of undergraduate full-time enrollment in WSU history
  • Increase of under-represented minorities by 2.8% for 2019, with 18% of all students and 20.3% among degree seeking undergraduates being under-represented minorities
  • 13.4% of degree-seeking undergraduates are Hispanic, the highest percent in WSU history, an increase of 7.2% from 2018
  • 17.3% more new students from out-of-state
  • 20.6% growth in undergraduate degree-seeking students from the I-35 corridor
  • 24.5% growth in total online majors
  • On-campus residence of more than 1,463 students, the most in university history with 51.6% of new full-time freshmen in university housing

“Successful enrollment management is dependent not only on a strong recruitment effort, but also on the concerted efforts of our faculty and staff to successfully retain our students and see them through to graduation. We continue to see positive trends in our student persistence levels that contribute to our overall enrollment growth,” said Carolyn Shaw, associate vice president of Academic Affairs and Strategic Enrollment Management.

WSU’s two-year affiliate, WSU Tech (WSU Campus of Applied Sciences and Technology), also reported the highest enrollment in its history, a total headcount of 4,920 students, a gain of 324 students or an increase of 7%. WSU Tech also reported 43,525 credit hours, which is 1,834 more credit hours than last year for an increase of 4.4%.

WSU and WSU Tech numbers are reported separately because they are separately accredited.

Two enrollment success stories:

  1. The new Army ROTC program on campus has attracted 42 new students in its inaugural year, with prospective students expressing an interest in attending WSU in order to participate in this leadership training program in the future.
  2. The School of Education in the College of Applied Studies continues to see success in its Teacher Apprentice Program, launched in summer 2017 with 34 students and has grown to 552 enrolled majors this fall. This program appeals to para-educators seeking to become licensed teachers while continuing to work as para-educators.

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