KU welcomes largest freshman class since 2008

LAWRENCE — The University of Kansas this fall welcomed its largest freshman class in 14 years and the most academically talented and diverse freshmen in its history, according to annual data released today by the Kansas Board of Regents.

This year’s freshman class includes 4,457 new students, making it the largest freshman class since 2008 and the second-largest class in KU history. The average high school GPA of these freshmen is a record-high 3.66, and minority students account for a record-high 28.5% of the class.

Beyond the freshman class, KU’s overall enrollment fell slightly by 0.2% (47 students) to 27,638.

2022 Freshman Class

- Largest class since 2008
- Second largest class in KU history (2008)
- Most talented class in KU history based on high school GPA (tied 2021)
- Most diverse class in KU history

2022 Overall Enrollment

- Down 0.2% to 27,638.
- Most diverse student body in KU history

2022 Graduation Rates

- All-time highs in four-year, five-year, six-year rates

Visit the Office of Analytics, Institutional Research, & Effectiveness website for historical data and trends.

“We are pleased to see this increase in first-time freshmen and to have held steady on overall enrollment this year,” said Chancellor Douglas A. Girod. “These enrollment numbers demonstrate that talented students from across the state and nation see the benefit of attending a leading public research university like KU to prepare for their lives and careers. Additionally, these enrollment numbers speak volumes of the work our faculty and staff do to recruit and retain talented students, especially during the uncertainties of the pandemic in recent years.”

KU leaders attributed the jump in freshmen to various factors, ranging from the university’s academic reputation, targeted recruitment strategies, the university’s nationwide network of donors and alumni, and the profile of KU athletics.

“Everything we do at KU — from education to service to research, to engagement with alumni and donors, to competing in athletics — ultimately contributes to our ability to recruit new students to campus,” Girod said. “Every member of our university community deserves thanks and credit for our enrollment success.”

The university continues to refine its scholarship offerings to make KU more accessible to prospective students and parents. In particular, KU no longer requires standardized test scores for admission or merit-based scholarships. Instead, KU now offers merit-based scholarships based solely on high school GPA that are guaranteed for four years, making a world-class KU education more affordable than ever. Students and parents are encouraged to learn more about these automatic, renewable scholarships and to apply by the university’s priority deadline of Dec. 1.

Girod said the university must continue working hard to overcome challenges facing KU and higher education.

“While we are pleased with this year’s freshman class, we must continue our efforts to recruit and retain top students and create a university they want to attend,” he said. “The reality is, college enrollment continues to decline across the nation, and we continue to face flat population trends here in the Midwest. These challenges haven’t gone away, which is why we must remain steadfast in our efforts to improve KU through our strategic planning initiative and Higher Learning Commission accreditation process.”

Graduation rates

Today’s data also include record-setting graduation rates. Specifically, this year’s four-year, five-year and six-year graduation rates are all record-highs. 

“Getting students to KU is important, but equally important is ensuring they earn their degree in a timely fashion,” Girod said. “While we celebrate this year’s record-setting graduation rates, we will maintain our focus on improving the student experience through enhancements to advising, health care and other areas of importance to students.”

Additional highlights

  • Enrollment at the Lawrence and Edwards campuses – which are counted together – is down 0.36% (86 students) to 23,872. Enrollment at KU Medical Center is up 1.05% (39 students) to 3,766.
  • There are 1,504 veterans, active duty and military-connected (dependent) students enrolled for fall 2022.
  • The number of first-time freshmen enrolled in the School of Business is at an all-time high (731 students) and comprises 16.4% of the entering freshman class.
  • KU’s newest school, the School of Professional Studies, headquartered at the Edwards Campus and specifically focused on serving workforce needs in the Kansas City metropolitan area and beyond, grew its headcount by 32% to 677 students and its student credit hours by 41% compared to fall 2021.
  • Diversity is now at an all-time high at KU, with minority students (6,896) comprising 25% of the KU population.
  • KU continues to set records for out-of-state student enrollment. This year, nonresidents make up an all-time high 41.2% of the Lawrence and Edwards population.

KU is now accepting applications and scheduling campus visits for prospective students. The university encourages prospective students and families to apply by the Dec. 1 scholarship deadline. Additionally, prospective students and parents are invited to attend the university’s annual Crimson & Blue Day on Oct. 14 or explore other options to visit campus.

(EDITOR'S NOTE: After using headcount as the unit of measure for many years, the Board of Regents in 2018 transitioned to a full-time equivalency metric. KU continues to use the headcount metric for the convenience of media, policymakers and others who are tracking KU’s year-over-year enrollment progress and want to make an apples-to-apples comparison with previous years’ data.)

Thu, 09/29/2022


Joe Monaco

Media Contacts

Joe Monaco

KU Office of Public Affairs