Theme 2: Undergraduate Educational Experience
Build a connected, diverse, empowered, engaged, participatory culture of learning and excellence that promotes undergraduate student success and prepares students for their professional, community, social and personal lives.
Activities and Accomplishments
- The university achieved its highest-ever freshman-to-sophomore retention rates, progressing from 81% to 87% over the past decade. We are well on the way to reaching the 2025 goal of 90%.
- The six-year graduation rate reached record highs with a 12-point increase since K-State 2025 was launched. Advancing from 56% to 68.4%, we are nearing the 2025 goal of 70%.
- The university set records for multicultural student enrollment and highest freshman ACT averages.
- Expanded student success performance targets were established in 2021 to include four-year graduation and sophomore-to-junior retention rates, with additional targets for student populations by race and ethnicity, international, Pell recipients and first- generation students.
- Investments were made across the university to support improved student success, including in tutoring, peer mentoring, academic advising, diversity, undergraduate research, transition and career coaching programs.
- Record numbers of students participated in student success programs such as K-State First during the past decade, resulting in better academic performance and higher graduation and retention rates for participants. For example, over 16,000 students experienced K-State First classes; participation in our expanded living/learning community system, or CAT communities, increased 277%; and students taking the First Year Seminar increased 45%.
- The student convocation program was reinstituted to welcome new students to the university as they embark on their college experience.
- The Honors House opened as a living/learning facility for Honors Program students.
- A competitive grant program launched to expand undergraduate research provided financial support to 500 students through the Office of Undergraduate Research and Creative Inquiry.
- The First Scholars program was launched with funding from the Suder Foundation to better support our large population of first-generation students. K-State earned the NASPA designation as a First-Gen Forward Advisory Institution.
- Undergraduate students studying abroad increased 66% over the past 10 years. With 16% of our graduates having at least one education abroad experience, K-State is exceeding the national average by 5%.
- World culture/study abroad programs have been integrated into 80% of our undergraduate degree programs.
- The Textbook Affordability Program supported the creation of free or low-cost textbooks, reducing the burden of textbook costs for more than 10,000 students annually and an estimated savings to students of $7M since 2015.
- Financial assistance to students was increased through new or expanded institutional, college and departmental scholarships and need-based aid. Over the past four years alone, funding was raised for 676 new scholarships through philanthropy.
- The university’s first Strategic Enrollment Management, or SEM, plan was completed and is in its fourth year of implementation. This student-centered plan reaffirms our land-grant commitment to access, affordability and student success.
- Our institutional scholarship model was adjusted to better balance merit- and need-based awards and aid for students. The university piloted retention grants, reallocated funding to provide need-based aid to current students, increased need-based aid awarded to incoming freshmen through the Freshman Wildcat Grant by 48%, and expanded the number of available need-based housing scholarships for students living in residence halls.
- Our tuition and fees model was restructured and simplified for all learners and communications to students and families about cost of attendance were improved.
- Recruiters and academic advisors are using new tools to communicate with and support potential and current students, including a new customer relationship management and SSC-Navigate. These technologies are assisting us in becoming a less-siloed university community in recruiting students and promoting student success.
- K-State's first student omsbudsperson was named to be an advocate for any K-State student experiencing a campus climate concern.
- The Morrison Family Center for Student Well-being was launched as part of the JED Campus initiative to promote the holistic well-being of all students.
- Kansas State University continues to be the leading public university in the total number of nationally competitive scholarship recipients, including the Truman, Rhodes, Marshall, Goldwater and Udall scholars.