WSU facing budget deficit due to shrinking graduate school enrollment
WICHITA, Kan. (KAKE) - Wichita State University says it's facing a massive budget deficit due to shrinking graduate school enrollment.
Monday, staff members at WSU received an e-mail stating that if they can't bring grad school enrollment up by next fall, budget cuts may be on the horizon.
The email said that because of declining graduate school enrollment numbers, the school is facing a $2 million budget shortfall.
It goes on to say WSU is waiving the exam requirements for graduate admissions.
"There were other ways that we could measure there, ability or aptitude to be able to be admitted into a graduate program," says Senior Associate Vice President of Strategic Enrollment Management Ashlie Jack.
Jack is now leading the effort to get those enrollment numbers up by the fall.
She said that there are a number of factors in these declining numbers, including continued adjustments in higher education following the pandemic.
"We've identified some emerging academic programs within our university, and those are going to be pivoting," Jack said. "They're really very in demand programs. And those are going to be pivoting completely online. So whereas maybe a program after COVID had only been hybrid, where you took part of it on campus, and then some of it online, we have some programs that are pivoting completely online."
WSU hopes waiving test requirements, and the effort to recruit more students can help deans achieve their enrollment goals.
The university is hoping to meet its goals by the fall, saying budget cuts will have to happen if those goals aren't met.
Wichita State isn't alone, a report from the Council of Graduate Schools says graduate enrollment declined by nearly 5% nationwide from 2012 to 2022.