PSU announces enrollment numbers 

  Thursday, October 1, 2020 1:30 PM

Pittsburg, KS

Enrollment numbers

Preliminary 20th day enrollment figures released today by the Kansas Board of Regents show a decrease statewide in enrollment at public higher education institutions, including Pittsburg State University. 

Among the state universitiesPSU falls in the middle. The headcount went from 6,645 last year, which was up 20 students from the year before, to 6,398 students this year, or a loss of 3.7 percent 

The average decrease in headcount at state universities was 3.5 percent. Community colleges experienced an average decrease of 14.1 percent, while technical colleges saw an average drop of 9.4 percent. 

At PSU, one category in enrollment saw a significant increase this year, and that was graduate enrollment, with 109 additional students seeking master’s degrees. 

Another positive note: PSU’s rate of retention when it comes to last year’s freshmen. The percentage went up slightly this year, with 73.85 returning for the 2020-21 academic year. In 2019-20, the rate of returning freshmen was 73.7 percent. 

President Steve Scott said that given the COVID-19 pandemiccoupled with the enrollment decline that higher education has weathered in the past few yearsPSU's decline was not unexpected. In fact, Scott noted the decline was made more modest by the extraordinary efforts of faculty and staff as they have responded to the pandemic.  

Scott noted, “I could not be more pleased with how the university has kept its focus on serving students and the community.” 

“We continue to hear from employers across the nation that they want our graduates, and they need our graduates, to fill critical positions,” he said. “We’re doubling down on getting that message out in hopes that prospective students realize a college degree is vital to the future of our nation’s workforce, and their own futures. We’re hopeful that message is received and in coming months, we begin to see an uptick in enrollment.” 

Challenges that impacted PSU directly included pandemic-related limitations on recruiting prospective students, enrolling international students for the fall semester, and a delayed start for many Kansas high schools, which led to a decrease in the number of high school students enrolled in concurrent courses at the time of the 20th day census. 

"It could be worse,” Scott said, “but wcertainly aren’t letting up. We’re continuing to do all we can to remove the cost barrier to earn a college degree, and to look at new and innovative ways to reach and serve potential and current students.