31,112 — UNT enrollment reaches new all-time high
DENTON (UNT), Texas — According to the unofficial headcount after the 12th day of 2003 fall classes (Monday, Sept. 8), the University of North Texas student population has climbed above the 31,000-student milestone to bring the highest fall enrollment numbers in UNT’s 113-year history — 31,112 students. In fall 2002, UNT’s enrollment surpassed 30,000 students for the first time, but this year enrollment is 3.1 percent ahead of the 30,183 students officially counted last year. It amounts to an increase of 929 students.Until the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board verifies enrollment numbers and makes them official later in the fall, all enrollment statistics are unofficial, 12th class day numbers. “Our consistent enrollment growth demonstrates the strength of UNT’s commitment to the statewide ‘Closing the Gaps’ effort and its ambitious goal to provide quality higher educational opportunities to growing numbers of Texans,” said UNT President Norval Pohl.“Some of our best news this year is reflected in the 13.8 percent increase in the number of new-from-high-school freshman students. Since our strategic recruitment and retention plans are working so well, I believe this bodes well for us for many years to come,” Pohl said.A concentrated team effort in the area of student recruitment since 1997 (involving individuals from many university departments) has guided UNT to a seventh consecutive year of increased enrollment. Last year enrollment was up 8.3 percent, in 2001 enrollment was up 3 percent, in 2000 enrollment was up 2.1 percent, in 1999 enrollment was up 3.8 percent, in 1998 enrollment increased by 2 percent, and in 1997 enrollment increased by 0.2 percent. These increases reverse modest declines in enrollment between 1991 and 1996. “University-wide efforts have focused on retention of continuing students with special emphasis on new-from-high-school freshman retention (which is 75.1 percent as compared to 73.5 percent last year) and managed growth of new students including freshmen, transfers, graduate and minority students across all categories,” said Dr. Joneel Harris, associate vice president for enrollment management and chair of the Enrollment Management Committee.“We also are particularly pleased that we have a 5 percent (153-student) increase in African-American enrollment and a 6.6 percent (175-student) increase in Hispanic students at UNT this fall,” Harris said. A look at the total undergraduate enrollment — up 5.6 percent at 23,895 — indicates UNT’s sustained ability to recruit and retain students.Breaking the undergraduate enrollment down by classification shows the 2003 fall freshman total of 5,532 is an increase of 15.2 percent or 730 students over last fall. The number of sophomores (4,974) increased by 1.3 percent or 64 students. The number of juniors (5,501) is down 0.5 percent or 27 students. And senior numbers (7,888) are up 6.9 percent or 510 students. Student classification is based on the number of semester hours passed. At the graduate level, the number of doctoral candidates (1,312) is up 2.9 percent or 37 students. The number of master’s degree candidates (5,905) is down 6.1 percent or 385 students. However, this year’s slight decline (and a significant 27 percent increase last year) can be directly traced to the number of students participating in a one-year grant program in the College of Education, according to Harris.The enrollment total does not include 355 out-of-state students who are registered only for UNT courses offered on the Internet.On-site enrollment at the UNT Dallas Campus is 1,208 students (accounting for 495 in full-time equivalents or FTEs). This represents a 41 percent increase over the on-site enrollment last fall. “This fall’s numbers show that we have reached our enrollment projection goal of 1,200 in headcount and surpassed our projection of 400 full-time equivalent students,” said Dr. John Ellis Price, vice provost for the UNT Dallas Campus.Once the Dallas Campus enrollment reaches 1,000 full-time equivalent students, the UNT System can establish the University of North Texas at Dallas as an accredited, full-fledged, freestanding university and the first public university within the Dallas city limits.
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