TOPEKA (KSNT)- The Kansas Board of Regents (KBOR) released enrollment numbers for the Fall 2023 semester on Wednesday.

According to a spokesman for the Board, the preliminary report is a 20-day snapshot of enrollment numbers for the current semester.

The report shows a 12.5% decline in student headcount enrollment for Emporia State University. The university lost 666 students between 2022’s Fall census report and 2023. The headcount for the Fall 2023 semester now stands at 4,658.

It’s the largest dip in enrollment numbers in one year, compared to other state universities.

This comes after a round of mass layoffs earlier this year, as part of the university’s restructuring plan. In addition to laying off dozens of staff members, it included cutting majors to reallocate resources to other programs.

University President Ken Hush issued a statement in an open letter ahead of the KBOR’s enrollment report, defending the changes made at the university.

“We made substantial changes to our academic structure, suspended certain programs and introduced new ones to better serve the needs of our students and our region,” Hush wrote. “We are in the middle of a full-scale transformation, and change of this magnitude takes time.”

The preliminary census data also shows an increase in student enrollment across the state’s public higher education system. The public university, community college and technical college sectors all saw growth in headcount and full-time equivalent enrollment. According to KBOR officials, overall, the system has experienced a 2.0 percent increase in enrollment as of the 20th-day fall census compared to the prior year.

“We are encouraged to see enrollment growth across our system this year,” said KBOR President and CEO Blake Flanders. “With initiatives such as increased student financial aid, a common general education package, and growing opportunities for students to participate in applied learning and internships, our system has made important strides to increase affordability, access and success and begin to reverse a long trend of declining enrollment. We look forward to continuing this work and serving Kansas families and businesses.”

Across the six state universities, the Board says, there was an increase of 1,467 students (1.7 percent), and Washburn University grew by 243 students. Community colleges experienced an increase of 643 students (1.1 percent), while technical colleges saw an increase of 871 students (8.6 percent).

Kansas State University saw a student headcount increase of 0.1%. There was a 6.7% increase for University of Kansas, and a 3.7% increase for Wichita State University. Pittsburg State University’s headcount dipped by 2.2%. Fort Hays State University’s headcount dropped by 0.8%.

View preliminary fall enrollment summaries in both headcount and full-time equivalent enrollment for each public higher education institution in Kansas here. Enrollment numbers may also be accessed at through the Fall Census tab.

Full-time equivalency is calculated by dividing the total number of undergraduate credit hours taken in a semester by 15 and graduate credit hours by 12.

State Universities

University1-Year Headcount Change1 Year Percent Change
Emporia State University-666-12.5%
Fort Hays University-108-0.8%
Kansas State University270.1%
Kansas State University – Veterinary Medicine-4-0.8%
Pittsburg State University-126-2.2%
University of Kansas15976.7%
University of Kansas Medical Center1203.2%
Wichita State University6273.7%