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Sources: Kirk Schulz, 785-532-6221, kirks@k-state.edu;
Pat Bosco, 785-532-6237, bosco@k-state.edu; April Mason, 785-6224,
masona@k-state.edu; and Myra Gordon, 785-532-6276, mygordon@k-state.edu
News release prepared by: Beth Bohn, 785-532-2535, bbohn@k-state.edu

Thursday, Sept. 23, 2010

K-STATE SETS RECORD FOR TOTAL ENROLLMENT, INCLUDING LARGEST ENROLLMENT EVER BY STUDENTS OF COLOR

MANHATTAN -- 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."

Gordon said efforts to make K-State even more diverse will continue. "Today we celebrate; today we re-double our efforts," she said.

As K-State's enrollment grows, so are university efforts to help students find academic success, said April Mason, K-State provost.

"This fall marks the official launch of K-State First, which has moved from a pilot study to an academic program," Mason said. "K-State First is an effort to improve the educational experience of our newest students at the university and to help make K-State the premier institution for undergraduate education in the region. I am particularly pleased that so many of our talented and award-winning faculty are teaching in this program, because this enhances the educational experience of our students."

K-State First offers special CAT learning communities that provide mentoring and academic assistance; the popular Guide to Personal Success program, launched last year, which teams first-year students with a mentor; first-year seminars with smaller class sizes; and the new Kansas State Book Network, a common book reading program that connects first-year students to the classroom and the university community.

"K-State First is an important strategy for improving the academic success of our students and helping them with the transition to university life and college-level learning," Mason said.

Bosco said K-State First and the many other services and programs the university provides students also have been a factor in K-State's record enrollment.

"Demand for our programs is higher than ever," he said. "Our university housing is so popular that we had to seek temporary housing off-campus for some students. Our sororities just experienced their largest recruitment ever, and K-State First is creating an unparalleled level of excitement for the new members of the K-State family. It's just a great time to be a K-Stater."