The University of North Texas set an enrollment record this fall with 36,221 students while for the first time in more than a decade, total enrollment at Texas Woman’s University is down.
Overall, TWU has 31 fewer students than last year, but has six more at the Denton campus this year compared to 2012, with 12,422 students enrolled in Denton on the 12th day of class.
UNT added 385 students compared to last fall.
“This is a record-high enrollment for us overall, and that’s always notable,” UNT President Lane Rawlins said.
North Central Texas College also set an enrollment record this fall with 10,320 students — 145 more students than this time last year.
Richard Nicholas, TWU vice president of student life, said the most important figure in TWU’s enrollment data was that retention was up by almost 2 percent, with 11,149 students returning.
“The numbers include a lot of good news and a lot of success that reflects the efforts we’ve been making. ... At the top of that list is retention,” Nicholas said. “We’ve been working to make that happen, and it’s an indication that our efforts are paying off.”
UNT and TWU also saw increases in credit hours, which is the basis of the university’s state funding.
UNT reported a 1.1 percent increase, while TWU saw a 0.6 percent increase, up 950 credit hours from last year.
Both UNT and TWU saw higher quality freshmen this year, which officials from both schools said was noteworthy. The incoming class at UNT had an average SAT score of 1108 — three points higher than last year.
“I think that [a highlight of the data is] the continuing increase in the quality of the freshmen class. ... We want to make sure we’re a viable, if not preferable, place for the very best students,” Rawlins said.
The enrollment numbers for TWU are slightly lower than anticipated, Nicholas said, but he expects the headcount for part-time students to go up later this semester, as the university has introduced classes that take only half a semester to complete. Those who will take classes the second half of this semester were not accounted for in the enrollment data, Nicholas said.
Full-time enrollment at TWU grew 2.2 percent since last year, which Nicholas said is a good indicator for continued increases in retention and graduation.
“We’re pleased to see full-time enrollment up — very pleased,” he said. “Full-time students are more likely to be retained and more likely to graduate, and graduate on schedule, and again those are things the state measures for its universities.”
For NCTC, it was encouraging to see enrollment increase at a time when state and national trends indicate fewer students are enrolled at community colleges, said Billy Roessler, vice president of student services. It is one of less than 10 colleges in the state that had increased funding this past legislative session, he said.
“We were certainly hoping to have another increase after hitting the 10,000 mark last year — so to surpass that and still have another increase is quite exciting,” he said.
Both Denton County campuses — Corinth and Flower Mound — saw growth this year. The Flower Mound campus is the newest location and opened in 2011, and saw enrollment increase by 11 percent since last year, Roessler said.
“It’s a new campus and Denton County is definitely a dense population, so it shows we’re in the right place, I believe,” he said.
Official numbers from the schools will be submitted to the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board based on enrollment numbers recorded on the 20th class day. These numbers will be verified and released later in the fall.
JENNA DUNCAN can be reached at 940-566-6889 and via Twitter at @JennaFDuncan.