Warren Burggren: UNT selective, accessible

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I talk to some people who think of the University of North Texas as a good college, yet still think it is relatively easy to get into. It’s a belief that assumes that being accessible means that you aren’t competitive.

It’s true that UNT is a university for every kind of student — from the new high school graduate to the community college transfer student to the working professional. But it’s also true that we don’t take every student who applies and turn away almost as many students as we admit. We are categorized as a selective university and have tough admission standards because we are interested in attracting high-caliber students who are serious about their future.

UNT today is a powerful university on the move and very much in demand. We want students who expect a high-quality education and who put as much into their education as they get out of it. More and more, UNT is a student’s first — and only — choice.

Consider Victoria Garcia, who was the valedictorian of her high school class in Pecos. Garcia could have gone to virtually any college she wanted. Yet, she chose UNT because she could study computer science and engineering, along with physics, to fulfill her dream of exploring black holes for NASA. She could play trumpet in the renowned Green Brigade Marching Band. And she could embrace the challenge and camaraderie of being a student in UNT’s Honors College.  

At UNT, Garcia has found the ideal stepping stone to a great future.  

“It’s awesome to be first in high school and then to come to a prestigious school like UNT,” Garcia said. “I feel like UNT has everything I expect from a school and more.”

Like so many students at UNT, Garcia shows promise, works hard and dreams big. And UNT is focused on helping students like her succeed. 


Bigger, better, brighter

Our freshman classes are a great indication of how bright and motivated UNT students are. For the past three years, we have enrolled a larger, brighter and more driven freshman class.

Since 2009, the average SAT score of entering freshmen has risen 10 points to 1105, which is higher than the Texas average of 973 and the national average of 1010. In that same period, our freshman class size grew by about 900 students to more than 4,400 freshmen today.

Our freshmen are fully embracing the university experience, taking an average of 14.3 credit hours, which is essentially a full class load. UNT’s Honors College, which attracts the brightest students, has seen a surge in enrollment, growing to more than 1,650 students. On the graduate side, we’re a top choice for doctoral students and have an all-time high doctoral student population.

We’re putting a lot of attention and investment into making the great education and support UNT provides even better — focusing not only on getting bright, highly motivated students into our classrooms, but keeping them on track and successful.

Many of our students come from the North Texas region, a fact we’re proud of considering the region is one of the nation’s largest and most economically vibrant metropolitan areas, and we are the largest, most comprehensive university in the region.

Like all large public universities, UNT has many students who live at home while attending college. Yet, we also are one of the largest residential college campuses in Texas with about 5,600 students living in dorms and another 8,060 living in Denton.

Students come to UNT because we offer the best of many worlds — a traditional college experience, a welcoming environment, nationally ranked and diverse programs for many career choices, dedicated teachers and mentors and a commitment to excellence — all at an affordable cost. 


Graduation leader

We pride ourselves on our ability to support students of all backgrounds and help them succeed.

Our graduation numbers show that we excel at this. With more than 8,500 graduates a year, we lead the region and are third in the state behind only the University of Texas in Austin and Texas A&M University in the number of bachelor’s degrees awarded each year. Just as importantly, we are efficient. We are one of the state’s top bachelor’s degree producers per state dollar invested.

Our graduates are the backbone of the Dallas-Fort Worth workforce and excel in their work because of the quality education we provide. They leave UNT with the knowledge and skills they need to keep our region and state’s businesses and economy strong.

This is what it means to be a strong public research university that caters to bright, driven students.

This is UNT today.

WARREN BURGGREN is the provost and vice president of academic affairs at the University of North Texas.

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