Emporia State University seeing lows and record highs in latest enrollment report

Local News

EMPORIA (KSNT) – Emporia State University is seeing lows and record highs in its latest enrollment report. Despite an overall drop in students, the school is seeing record retention and graduation rates.

According to the report, there are currently 5,615 students enrolled in ESU this fall. That number represents a 3.7 percent drop from fall 2020. The report also shows a drop in undergraduate students by 7.2 percent.

Senior Vice President Jim Williams said this loss was expected due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Emporia State University

“We didn’t have the opportunities to be in high schools. We didn’t have as much contact with high school counselors,” Williams said. “We didn’t have students on our campuses looking. As a system, I think we all were challenged with what they call that gap year, where students and parents decided to wait a year out.”

Williams said they are currently trying to recruit both this year and last year’s seniors. If they can get students touring on campus, he said they have a good rate of turning that tour into enrollment.

Despite the drop in new enrollment, the report shows good signs in other areas. There are currently 2,667 graduate students at ESU. This is an increase of 0.8% from fall 2020 and the highest enrollment on record. The school also saw the highest:

  • Retention rate for sophomore to junior year
  • Retention rate for junior to senior year

Williams said the university has been working specifically in these areas over the last five to six years.

“We’ve built centers where students go for tutoring and you go for tutoring whether you are getting an A in a class or you need a little bit of help,” Williams said. “We’ve done a number of initiatives with our financial aid packages. We’ve really focused on once that student’s here getting them to graduation. That’s after all why they are all going to college.”

The report shows that work seems to be paying off. Emporia State University is currently seeing record four-year and six-year graduation rates.

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