Enrollment Growth at Washburn Seizes the day

Jalisa Loving / Washburn Review

Fall is approaching and while most students are enjoying their summer off, new prospective students are exploring Washburn University in hopes of finding their perfect fit for their new life and college experience.

 Like many other colleges, enrollment for Washburn University begin for recurring students in November for students looking to begin classes in the spring and again in April for fall and summer classes. Then, for new students, Washburn likes to get them involved with new student orientations in the summer, but it is not required for them to do so.

The following three departments at Washburn University join forces with the help of Richard Liedtke, the executive director of enrollment, every year to make an increase in enrollments possible for the university; financial aid, the registrar’s office, and the admissions office. Together they help maximize enrollment opportunities for recurring students and new students by creating a synergy among the campus. This helps to manage enrollment so that Washburn can continue to have enrollment growth for years.

“Here at Washburn we have a certain experience that is more different than any other college campus in Kansas. We really try to project what it means to be a student on this campus during new student orientations and enrollment so that we can find individuals that want that particular experience and feels like Washburn is a good fit for them,” said Lietke.

For the last three years, Lietke has been working for Washburn. During the last three years he has witnessed a dramatic increase in enrollment. When Liedke first arrived at Washburn, enrollments were at 6,775 students per semester. Recently, Washburn has broken an all time high record in enrollment for the history of the university with 7,303 students for last fall.

In the fall of 2009 there was an increase of 1,201 new students who attended Washburn and since then there has been a 300 plus increase with 1,540 new students for the 2011 fall semester. Right now Washburn is at national average for university enrollments.

Enrollments and student orientations make it possible for new, returning, transfer and even abroad students to explore the opportunities of an education through Washburn University that will take them further than they could ever imagine.

“My favorite parts of enrollments are the students. They are the reason why I do what I do,” said Liedke. “I have always enjoyed working with them whether it was through coaching or through admissions and now as an administrator of enrollment management. It has given me the opportunity to be able to provide students with the ability to receive a higher education. It’s watching that first magic occur, when a student comes to Washburn for the first time all bright eyed and full of energy and ready to pursue an education from us that makes my job complete.”