WKU Sees Overall Drop in Student Population Between Fall 2017 and Fall 2018
Western Kentucky University has fewer students enrolled this fall than last year.
A WKU “Fall 2018 Enrollment Report” reflects in-state student attendance fell by almost five percent and the international student population dropped by more than a quarter.
Office of Admissions Director Jace Lux said the school is using a number of methods to increase its appeal outside of the commonwealth. “That was intentional. We made those changes knowing that we were going to have a freshman class that was more academically prepared. It might be a little bit smaller. But, the hope is that whatever you may lose in raw numbers in the incoming class you gain by those students staying and persisting and ultimately graduating from WKU,” he said.
Lux said the school is using a number of methods to increase its appeal outside of the commonwealth. “Our text outreach has ballooned over the past couple of years just because that’s how high school students have told us that’s how they prefer to be contacted. Average high school student sends and receives about 182 text messages each day. Average open time on those is about 90 seconds. So if you send a typical high school student a text message, within 90 seconds it’s probably going to be read,” he said.
Lux said the middle-Tennessee and south-Florida regions are areas experiencing population growth that are increasingly on WKU’s radar. He adds the number of students in Kentucky’s senior high school classes won’t likely grow for another few years.