Emporia State University posted another year of enrollment growth thanks to another record retention rate and an increase in first-time freshman undergraduate and graduate students compared to fall 2018.
In fall 2019, Emporia State marked the highest first-year retention rate on record at two percentage points higher than fall 2018, which had been the highest rate on record for the school. First-year retention is first-time, full-time freshman students who were new in fall 2018 and returned for their second year of classes.
The university saw continued growth in new first-time freshmen undergraduate students with a 4 percent increase over fall 2018. New first-time graduate students also added to the total, resulting in the highest number of total graduate students in school history.
On Sept. 16, the 20th day of classes at Emporia State, the university recorded 5,877 students, an increase of 1.4 percent over fall 2018.
"We are pleased that prospective students and their families recognize both the quality education and the value provided by Emporia State," ESU President Allison D. Garrett said.
Emporia State also helps high school students who want a head start on their college goals. Fall 2019 saw a 72 percent increase in concurrent enrollment from fall 2018. ESU's Jump Start program offers general education college courses during high school through supported online, on campus or dual-credit instruction. Students who participate in fall, spring and a summer semester can earn up to 15 hours of college credit before they graduate from high school. Since fall 2017, the number of students in Jump Start has tripled.
"Starting college while in high school is just one way that Emporia State students find to reduce their overall cost of earning a college degree," Garrett said.
Emporia State graduates report an average student debt upon graduation that is $6,300 below the national average and $3,900 below the Kansas average, based on information from the Institute for College Access & Success. ESU alumni have averaged a 97 percent career outcome rate over the past three years. The rate measures job placement or pursuit of graduate study in their field.