Kansas State University is bigger and more diverse than ever, according to 20th day enrollment figures announced today.
K-State's fall enrollment of 23,588 students is a record, as is the number of students of color, 2,946, which is up 18 percent from last year. The Manhattan on-campus enrollment of 20,592 is up 386 students from last year. On-campus enrollment at K-State Salina also is up with 642 students this fall, compared to 612 in fall 2009.
Last year's fall enrollment at K-State was 23,581, with 2,488 students of color and a Manhattan on-campus enrollment of 20,206.
"Keeping K-State accessible and affordable is extremely important as the state's land-grant university, and our record enrollment shows students and their families appreciate our efforts," said Kirk Schulz, K-State president. "Our growing and diverse student body also are important as we work to become a top 50 public university in the next few years."
Pat Bosco, vice president for student life and dean of students, said K-State works hard at every level to keep education affordable.
"We've been listening to the concerns of our students and families and of our future students about keeping costs down," he said. "Our scholarship programs are growing to reach even more students, including the Legacy Scholarship program for in-state students that is supported by the K-State License Plate Program. We now offer the President's Scholarship, which provides $20,000 a year, or a maximum of $80,000 for four years. Our student financial assistance office is getting high marks for showing students and families just how affordable a K-State education can be. We've even made textbooks more affordable with options like our new, popular textbook rental program."
This fall's record diversity enrollment, which includes 993 African-American students and 1,077 Hispanic/Latino students, shows that K-State's many programs and services to recruit and retain students of color are meeting with success, Bosco said.
"Our Developing Scholars Program, the Kansas Bridges to the Future program and many of the other services K-State provides are drawing underrepresented students to K-State and keeping them here," Bosco said. "The efforts of Dr. Myra Gordon, our associate provost for diversity and dual career development; Dr. Judy Lynch at the Academic Assistance Center; Madai Rivera, coordinator of Hispanic recruitment; Anita Cortez with the Developing Scholars Program; and many other hard-working individuals at K-State are truly making a difference."
Gordon said K-State's 18 percent increase in multicultural students this year, coupled with a more than 9 percent increase last year, means the university is making significant progress in increasing and enhancing the diversity of the student body.
"I am so happy and so proud of the collaborative effort that has made this result possible," Gordon said.
"Clearly, we have our legs underneath us now in multicultural student recruitment. We are making real strides in improving multicultural student retention, and we have a reputation among multicultural constituencies in the region as the college destination of choice.
"I am especially pleased to see the growth in our Hispanic student enrollment, which is reflective of the growth of this population in our state," Gordon said. "K-State is very fortunate to have growing numbers of multicultural students for its own health and sustainability, and for the long-term health and sustainability of this state, the nation and the world."
International student enrollment at Kansas State University has also climbed to a new high.
This fall's enrollment of 1,812 international students tops last year's record of 1,717, according to Kristine Young, assistant provost, K-State office of international programs.
"What is most exciting about our international enrollment is that it has now more than doubled since 1997 -- the first year K-State began its international student recruitment initiative. We're thrilled our efforts have been meeting with success in such a short time, and we plan to continue recruiting students from all across the globe," Young said.
In 1997 K-State had fewer than 900 international students.
This year's international enrollment includes 372 students new to K-State and 1,440 continuing students from last year.
Students from 107 countries are attending K-State this fall. The largest percentage of the university's international students are from China, with 829 this year, up from 718 in 2009. K-State also has 221 students from India, 111 from Saudi Arabia, 75 from Korea, 31 from Kuwait and 31 from Nepal.
"We really do have students from all around the world attending K-State," Young said. "Along with enriching the diversity of our campus and community, these students show K-State has the high-caliber programs to attract people from all across the globe.
Gordon said efforts to make K-State even more diverse will continue. "Today we celebrate; today we re-double our efforts," she said.