Newspaper article The Topeka Capital-Journal

Editorial: What to Make of Reduced College Enrollment?

Newspaper article The Topeka Capital-Journal

Editorial: What to Make of Reduced College Enrollment?

Article excerpt

The quality of students being enrolled is more important than enrollment count

A survey of the six state universities under the Kansas Board of Regents system shows fall enrollment at those schools is down 890 students from fall enrollment in 2014.

Just what to make of that comparison, we don't know. But the numbers themselves don't appear to be alarming, and unless declining enrollments become a trend we don't think the schools, the Board of Regents or Kansans have any reason for concern about the state of higher education in our state.

Although a recent report on the numbers didn't include comparisons for freshman enrollment, it could simply be that fewer high school seniors decided college was the place for them right now.

A lot of college freshmen don't make it to their sophomore or junior year. If the next freshman class isn't large enough to account for those who leave and those who graduate, enrollment declines. But again, a reduction of 890 students across six schools doesn't amount to a red flag for higher education, especially when Kansas has implemented programs to increase enrollment in technical schools. Those efforts undoubtedly have some impact on college enrollments.

Numbers released Friday by the Kansas Board of Regents show enrollment increased at the University of Kansas, by 108 students, and Fort Hays State University, by 358 students.

Lower enrollments were reported by Kansas State University, 620 students; Wichita State University, 508 students; Pittsburg State University, 235 students; and Emporia State University, 20 students.

However, news reports on the decline in college enrollment for fall 2015 also noted enrollment in the state's technical colleges had increased by 433 students, a 6.33 percent jump over fall enrollment for 2014.

Furthermore, a story published Sunday in The Topeka Capital- Journal and at CJOnline mentioned the success of a program, championed by Gov. …

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