9/23/2004

Contact: Lynn Bretz, University Relations, (785) 864-8866, lbretz@ku.edu.

KU sets record for enrollment, new marks for retention, number of Kansans

LAWRENCE -- Fall 2004 enrollment at the University of Kansas set a record high and also set new marks for the number of Kansas residents enrolled and the retention rate of first-year undergraduates, according to official figures released today by the Kansas Board of Regents. The 2004 freshmen class also saw significant gains in minority students.

According to 20th-day figures, overall KU enrollment increased 318, or 1.1 percent, to 29,590, eclipsing the record set in fall 2003.

Overall, 68.9 percent of the students, or 20,379, are Kansas residents. KU has more Kansas residents as students than any other regents institution. Nonresident students number 9,211 or 31.1 percent of KU's overall total.

"Students in Kansas and across the nation recognize the excellent academic reputation and tradition of the University of Kansas," said KU Chancellor Robert Hemenway. "We are pleased to see KU's enrollment set a new record."

Enrollment at KU's Lawrence campus increased 166, or 0.6 percent, to 26,980. Lawrence campus students originate from 102 of the 105 counties in Kansas and from all 50 states, Washington, D.C., and Puerto Rico.

The KU Medical Center's enrollment rose 152, or 6.2 percent, to 2,610 students.

The one-year retention rate for returning members of KU's 2003 freshman class is 83 percent, the best on record.

The 2004 first-time freshmen class has 4,269 students, a 5 percent increase from 2003. Nonresident freshmen increased 12.2 percent over 2003, and the number of minority freshmen increased 9.6 percent.

KU also increased its enrollment of minority students by 4.2 percent from 2003. Among freshmen minority students, African-American enrollment increased 22.4 percent and Hispanic enrollment increased 20 percent over 2003.

"KU is seeing the results of its substained effort to make the university an attractive place for students who bring us diversity," said Richard C. Morrell, associate vice provost for student success. "KU has done a good job telling its story of academic excellence to minority students, but we need to continue to improve on our progress."

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