In spite of the COVID-19 pandemic, Kansas Wesleyan University’s enrollment is at its highest point since 2011. The university released its official fall enrollment numbers Wednesday, in conjunction with the 20th Day of the semester.
KWU’s enrollment for the term is 803 students, an increase of more than 12% and the highest figure since fall 2011. Approximately 40% of KWU’s on-ground students work full or part-time jobs in the immediate area, thereby providing a significant boost to the area economically.
“This was a goal for our admissions staff,” said Ken Oliver, vice president of Advancement, Admissions and Marketing. “I’m so proud of their hard work and dedication to the goal, and can’t wait to see what they achieve in the future. I’m also thankful for all of the other supporters of KWU – whether on campus or off – who helped recruit these great students to Salina. Our great faculty, coaches and staff have done a great job in supporting our students in new and innovative ways to boost our retention and persistence rates.”
The university’s freshman retention rate sits at 63.83%, its second-highest since measurement began more than 20 years ago. Overall persistence is more than 75%, a three-percent increase from last year.
KWU not only improves the region economically and academically, but through service as well. The university records over 14,000 hours a year in job shadowing, internship and community service, and multiple athletic programs rank among the NAIA’s tops in community service hours recorded.
Finally, 28% of KWU graduates go on to settle in Salina.
“While we’re very proud of all of these numbers, we are even more proud of what drove us to achieve them,” said Dr. Matt Thompson, president and CEO of KWU, “The hard work of our admissions staff and recruiters, the creation of our school’s first Diversity Office, the energy and growth of particular majors and a focus on continual, student-focused communication has been our hallmark this past year. It’s an exciting time to be a Coyote, and we can’t wait to see what the future holds!”