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Fewer Kansas graduates attending state universities

June 15, 2019 - 10:36 am

The percentage of Kansas high school graduates who attend state universities has fallen in recent years, and the schools are considering how to stop that decline and make up lost revenue.

In 2017, only 50% of Kansas high school graduates enrolled at a state higher education institution, according to a report by the Kansas Board of Regents.

A healthy economy could be behind those numbers. Right now, there are more jobs available for graduates holding only a high school diploma, and some of them pay quite well. Students are looking at the cost of actually attending a university, but the cost of going versus the money they can make right now may be driving them away. 

Shifting demographics could also play a part. The Hispanic population has grown significantly in southwestern Kansas, but higher education is not always popular in that community due to cost, a need to support the family, and the desire to maintain a traditional family unit in one place.

The University of Kansas has taken steps to balance the loss of revenue from homegrown students by increasing tuition for out-of-state students. 

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