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Enrollment figures show steady growth

Profile image for By Matthew Zabel / Staff Writer
By Matthew Zabel / Staff Writer

Enrollment at Texas Woman's University grew for the 10th consecutive year, school officials announced Thursday.

TWU reported 14,740 students enrolled this fall, 4 percent more than at this time last year.

The figure places TWU just 133 students shy of the goal the university must attain by 2015 to meet the requirements of Closing the Gaps, a statewide plan to increase the number of students enrolled in college.

The number of credit hours, which is the basis for state funding, increased by nearly 5 percent, TWU officials said.

The enrollment figures include students at TWU's Denton (12,054), Dallas (1,378) and Houston (1,308) campuses.

Richard Nicholas, vice president for student life, attributed some of the growth to the university's investment to create the TWU Brighter Future grants.

In May, regents allocated $1 million to that fund to help incoming freshmen pay for school. Up to 900 incoming freshmen stood to see their financial aid offers reduced, and the grants were set up to help balance that out.

"We were discovering students in the spring and early summer who were unsure whether they would be able to afford school," Nicholas said.

News was circulating that state cuts to financial aid were likely, so the regents invested $1 million to help cover some of those students.

"It enabled us to get rid of a lot of that uncertainty for a lot of students," he said.

However, the TEXAS Grant program received some state funding, so TWU was able to apply that money instead of its own, he said.

TWU's financial aid office also redoubled its efforts to give individual attention to those students who needed financial aid.

"We took a very personalized approach to address the concern of, 'Can I afford it?'" Nicholas said.

The university's freshman class grew by more than 10 percent to 1,813 this year.

Nearly 40 percent of TWU's new freshmen ranked in the top 25 percent of their graduating high school classes.

Nicholas also noted a record-high enrollment of 2,422 Hispanic students. Recently, U.S. News & World Report and Diverse: Issues in Higher Education magazines recognized TWU for the diversity of its student body.

MATTHEW ZABEL can be reached at 940-566-6884. His e-mail address is .