The University of Texas at El Paso broke its fall student enrollment record for the 18th straight year and did it with the largest single year increase in five years.
The University registered 23,922 students this fall compared to 23,397 in 2015. That is a 2.2 percent increase, the University’s largest increase since 2011 when student population swelled by 2.4 percent.
The University recently celebrated a historic high in the number of graduates – more than 4,500 – during the 2015-16 academic year, so part of this year’s sizable enrollment bump is credited to student retention. Some of the areas with notable increases are first-time undergraduate students (5 percent) and new graduate students (13 percent).
“We are very pleased that UTEP’s fall enrollment continued its steady growth this year, a trend which confirms students’ understanding of the unbeatable value of UTEP’s commitment to both affordability and excellence,” said University President Diana Natalicio. “And thanks to the outstanding work of our talented faculty and staff, more than 4,500 graduates received their diplomas during the past academic year, demonstrating that students who choose to enroll at UTEP in record numbers are also setting records in achieving their dreams of earning a degree.”
Gary Edens, Ed.D., vice president for student affairs, said the enrollment numbers are the result of many years of cultivating a college-going culture throughout the region’s school districts and beyond. Along with the quality product it provides in the classroom, research labs and athletic venues, the University has shown itself as an entity that truly cares about its students and the community.
“What the numbers tell me is that the students and their families trust UTEP to provide an affordable and high-quality education,” Edens said. “Our faculty and staff work tirelessly every day to be worthy of that trust.”
Charles Ambler, Ph.D., dean of UTEP’s Graduate School, noted that the Graduate School’s overall student population grew this year. The number of master’s students increased by 7 percent and doctoral students went up by 9 percent.
“Increased graduate enrollments reflect the critical role UTEP plays in providing advanced educational opportunities in the border region and UTEP’s emergence as a nationally recognized research university,” said Ambler, who added that the University began to offer a Ph.D. program in mechanical engineering this fall. It is UTEP’s 21st doctoral degree.
UTEP officials are pleased with the 2016 fall semester numbers, said Howard C. Daudistel, Ph.D., interim provost and vice president for academic affairs.
“We are delighted that our commitment to high-quality academic programs and student success has contributed to an enrollment increase,” Daudistel said.