Topeka, Kan. –Washburn University’s overall enrollment is off slightly following a larger than normal graduation classes in both the fall and spring and despite growth at Washburn Tech. However, the university continues to show growth in direct from high school class.
Overall enrollment on the traditional university campus was down 4.48 percent on an FTE (Full Time Equivalent) basis. That translates into a 4.36 percent decline in headcount and a 4.48 percent decline in credit hours.
Washburn Tech showed growth this year with total headcount climbing 4.90 percent on an FTE basis. For Tech, that translates into a 4.44 percent increase in headcount and a 4.90% increase in credit hours.
Overall, the headcount on the two campuses was down 223 from 7,988 to 7.765.
“We have steadily improved the graduation rates at the university campus in the last ten years,” said Jerry Farley, president of Washburn University. “While that is great news, it does increase the pressure to replace the graduates – particularly when you have large graduating classes.”
Farley said that there are a number of factors which have an impact on enrollments.
“First and foremost, the larger than normal graduating class had an immediate impact on enrollments,” he said. “But we are also affected the extremely low unemployment rate in Kansas and in particular in Shawnee County which has caused some potential students to delay furthering their education.”
In addition, Farley noted that the international market has declined significantly and that transfers have declined as enrollments at community colleges decline. Those enrollments tend to decline as the economy improves. And, transfers from the University of Kansas and Kansas State University – our largest transfer partners – are declining due to their efforts o increase retention rates.