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K-State touts high retention

By The Mercury

Kansas State University officials released data Friday indicating about a 95 percent retention rate for fall semester students returning for the spring semester.

They also indicated the data illustrated success in retaining multi-cultural American and international students.

The data put total enrollment at 23,180 for the spring semester, a record spring count that was up more than 650 from 2012.

Pat Bosco, vice president of student life and dean of students, said the total is “a reflection of how the previous semester went for students, especially freshmen, and we’re delighted by the results.”

University officials went out of their way to tout progress in the recruitment and/or retention of non-white American students.

They noted that the 23,180 figure included 3,187 non-white American students: 1,201 Hispanic or Latino, 937 black, 342 Asian, 96 American Indian, 36, Hawaiian/Pacific Islander, 575 multiracial, and 425 of another ethnicity or culture. Additionally, KSU enrolled 2,090 students from foreign nations, with China leading the way. Other nations in the top 10 were India, Saudi Arabia, Ecuador, South Korea, Kuwait, Sri Lanka, Nepal, Japan and Iran.

The data put K-State’s non-white population at about 22.8 percent of the overall count.

No data was available regarding how many of the total enrollment were taking classes online. Bosco did say that the on-campus enrollment was 19,837, up about 500 from the 19,252 who were on campus last spring.

Compared with fall semester enrollments, the data suggested a retention rate of 92 percent for black American students, 93 percent for Hispanic/Latino; and 97 percent for Asian-American. It should be noted that all those rates are approximations based on the overall fall and spring headcounts, and do not consider individual comings and goings.

University officials attributed those increases in part to the recruiting and retention efforts of various programs targeted toward multi-cultural students.

“Our multicultural enrollments continue to set records because of our outstanding, best-practice recruiting and retention efforts,” said Myra Gordon, associate provost for diversity. “These initiatives are exposing thousands of multicultural students to K-State and the opportunities the university has for students to become scholars and leaders.”

In the fall of 2007, K-State had 23,332 students, of which about 17 percent were from various minority or international populations. In 2002, there were 20,580 students, of which about 15 percent were minority or international. In 1997, the comparable figures were 18,758 and 13 percent.

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