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TWU preparing for record enrollment, housing

DALLAS — It's extremely likely Texas Woman's University enrollment will reach 16,000 students in fall 2017, which would be a new record for the institution. Lack of campus housing for these students continues to be an issue. 

Barbara Lerner, interim vice president of enrollment services, told the Board of Regents on Thursday that internal projections show an increase in dual-credit students, as well as in traditional freshmen and transfer students. 

"That would be a milestone for TWU," Lerner said. 

 In fall 2016, 15,665 were enrolled across all three campuses: Dallas, Houston and Denton.

The next question is where to house all of the students, since a new housing project won't be open until August 2019. 

Monica Mendez-Grant, vice president for student life, said requests are out for area hotels to see if they could house students in the fall. The requests were planned in advance since the university won't have final numbers for how many students it needs to house until the start of the fall semester.

Those who sign up last, like during orientation or later, will most likely be the students in hotels at first. Then they're moved on campus as housing becomes available. The university allows students to register for housing this late to try and get as many as possible close to campus, she said. 

"We want to provide access to our students, so we don't close housing requests," Mendez-Grant said. "They can sign up for housing throughout the summer."

Officials are also working to finalize agreements to keep housing upperclassmen at seven Scott Brown Properties apartment complexes around Denton. They are also completely subletting Vitae, an apartment complex next to the campus golf course. 

In a presentation to the Board of Regents on Thursday, Mendez-Grant said university officials are working with one partner on an agreement for a new dormitory. Once the agreement is finalized later this month, the developer will be announced, she said. 

Once the agreement is finalized, the planning process will formally begin. She anticipates that by the end of the summer, design, location and scope of the project will be completed. The dorm would contain at least 800 beds and house mainly sophomores starting in fall 2019. 

JENNA DUNCAN can be reached at 940-566-6889.