HAYS, Kan. (KSNW) – With an all-time high enrollment of 14,658, Fort Hays State University has become the third-largest university in Kansas, public and private.
- Emporia State University 5,887
- Fort Hays State University 14,658
- Kansas State University 23,779
- Pittsburg State University 7,102
- University of Kansas 28,401
- Wichita State University 14,474
The numbers announced by the Kansas Board of Regents show FHSU increased by 448, or 3.15 percent, from the fall 2015 headcount of 14,210 on the 20th day of classes. The new record marks a 16th consecutive year of record enrollments.
Fort Hays has taken some non-traditional approaches to grow the university.
More than 6,000, of their 14,600 members, of their student population make up the virtual student body — taking classes online. They represent students from more than 20 countries. The university also has around 3,300 students overseas. For local students, lower tuition helps them stay competitive.
“A lot of times I get a thank you for keeping the tuition here and the fees and everything we do affordable for the families,” said Joey Linn, VP of Student Affairs.
Students said it’s exciting to know the school is now the third-largest university in the state. They think it shows the university is constantly looking for ways to improve, while keeping the intimate atmosphere.
“We’re a big entire family, you’re going to feel welcome, and that’s exactly what I got coming here. I know this is the right place to be,” said junior Carla Parra.
The 20th day, set by the Regents as the official enrollment day to provide a standard basis of comparison from year to year, was Sept. 19 for Fort Hays State. Regents policy is to hold any announcement of enrollments until numbers are in and verified for all Regents institutions.