Washburn student body size drops, despite uptick in incoming class

Local News

TOPEKA (KSNT)- Washburn University reported seeing a slight decrease in overall student body size despite having an uptick in the incoming class, a trend seen across several universities.

The university reports having a 2.9% increase in the freshman class, a 4.5% increase in transfer students, a 4.9% increase in international students, and a 4.4% increase in law and graduate students.

According to the Kansas Board of Regents, the full-time equivalency (the number of credits attempted divided by the number of required credits to be considered full-time) enrollment total for both Washburn University and Washburn Tech totaled 5,248 in 2021.

This was a -1.5% change from 2020, which saw the University total 5,326. The decrease is a result of Washburn having a record-breaking graduating class that was larger than the overall uptick in recruitment from the previous year.

“Last year, we graduated a senior class which was significantly larger than the three classes which follow,” said Jerry Farley, president of Washburn University. “That, in addition to COVID leading some to postpone their college education created a dip in enrollment despite our success in attracting new students.”

  • Washburn University recriutment sizes:
    • 2017- 830
    • 2018- 729
    • 2019- 732
    • 2020- 609
    • 2021- 627

This trend in decrease student body sizes is not unique to Washburn. KBOR reports that State Universities combined to see a -2.4% change in FTE enrollment numbers, including Emporia State, down 5.8%, Kansas State, down 3.4%, and KU, down 0.3%

Farley said he expects enrollments numbers to bounce back over the next few years.

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