Photo courtesy UTEP

UTEP: Enrollment steady, Retention increased for Fall 2020

Friday afternoon, officials with the University of Texas at El Paso reported a Fall 2020 enrollment of 24,879 students, bolstered by increased retention.

“We were pleased to see record-high retention and an increase in semester credit hours,” said UTEP President Heather Wilson. “The growth in these areas demonstrates that our students are working hard to earn their degrees. We’re proud of these talented, resilient Miners.”

The institution’s overall semester credit hour production increased slightly by 0.4%, from 263,739 in Fall 2019 to 265,924 for Fall 2020. UTEP reported a 15% increase in enrollment for the summer term just completed.

“I want to commend our students for being dedicated to reaching their educational goals, and thank our faculty and staff for their tireless work in helping them stay on track to earn their degrees,” said Gary Edens, Ed.D., vice president for student affairs.

While UTEP saw decreases in first-time freshmen and transfer students, there was increased enrollment among sophomores (3.9%), juniors (3.3%) and seniors (3.4%).

“UTEP’s retention programs are having a tremendous impact on our student progression to degree,” Edens said. “Students are remaining engaged with their faculty and are committed to staying on track to graduation. We know the current situation surrounding COVID-19 has impacted decisions about beginning a university education. UTEP will actively reach out to those students throughout the region who chose not to start this year at UTEP with an open invitation to attend in the future.”​

While semester credit hours were up slightly, this semester’s head count enrollment represents a 1.2% decrease from Fall 2019’s enrollment of 25,177, almost entirely due to students who graduated from high school, applied to college, but are not starting their freshman year during the pandemic.

“We know who these students are,” Wilson said.  “And we will focus specifically on that cohort of about 450 students who should have started college this month and have not done so because of the pandemic. As a community, we cannot afford to leave them behind. They will need a meaningful post-secondary credential to make a better life for themselves and their families.”