The retention rate for the freshman class is up to 90 percent this year. By the 28th day of classes this semester, enrollment for on campus increased by 74 students overall.
“It means there is a positive feeling on campus,” said Jim Williams, vice president of Student Affairs and leader of the enrollment management team for Emporia State. “It speaks to the quality of ESU, and it speaks to opportunities that ESU offers. In a general sense, it creates positive wellbeing for the institution.”
Williams said the university is “excited” for and working toward another enrollment increase this fall.
In efforts to recruit new students, ESU has created a series of strategies for successful enrollment. The university has broadened its advertising campaign and launched more recruitment events to personalize the experience for prospective students.
“We have made sure that we highlight our faculty and our strong academic programs,” Williams said. “We have improved the scholarship program through the generosity of the foundation.”
Williams also said that ESU will market the institution and engage students who are both domestic and those who come from abroad. Strengthening international students’ enrollment is also a goal.
ESU’s theater program is what initially inspired Evan Eisenbarth, freshman theater major, to enroll. Eisenbarth said increasing numbers are “really good for the school.”
Eisenbarth also said he “loves” the residential life on his floor in the Towers Complex because living with international students lets him experience different cultures.
“It (increasing enrollment) also means that our teachers are doing well, and our sports are doing well because we are bringing in new people,” Eisenbarth said.
Savannah White, sophomore undecided major, who transferred from Wichita State, said she considers ESU a better academic environment.
“It is going to be a fresher experience because there are so many different cultures coming in,” White said.
This year’s freshman retention rate will increase the sophomore retention numbers as well, Williams said.