DENTON (UNT), Texas -- The University of North Texas' fall enrollment saw increases in the number of continuing students and the number of courses taken. In addition, more than 4,700 students are taking advantage of UNT's new 4-year graduation incentive program, Eagle Express, which will save each student $3,000 if he or she graduates within four years.
"Almost 50 percent of our incoming freshmen opted into the Eagle Express plan," said Neal Smatresk, UNT president. "We believe this is the most popular alternative tuition plan in Texas."
The Eagle Express Tuition Plan locks in students' total academic costs for four years and offers them an opportunity to save up to $3,000 in their last 15 academic hours. Plus, students who graduate on time may qualify for the state's $1,000 tuition rebate.
Closely tied to the Eagle Express program is the fact that the number of courses taken by the student body this fall set yet another all-time record, with the university reporting a 0.8 percent increase in credit hours registered for by UNT students. The growth in semester credit hours indicates a student body intent on graduating.
Total enrollment for fall is 36,216 students, and the university saw increases in the number of continuing students. Overall, enrollment for continuing students rose at UNT, with 26,478 remaining enrolled, a 1.3 percent increase over fall 2013's 26,140. UNT also recorded a 16.1 percent increase in enrollment in the College of Engineering and a 9.4 percent increase for the Mayborn School of Journalism.
UNT also saw an increase in students enrolling full-time at the university, with fall 2014 numbers at 27,183, up 1.6 percent over fall 2013's 26,765. The retention rate for 2013 high school graduates who entered UNT in the fall of 2013, rose 2.8 percent to 78.3 percent, a key factor in students graduating on time.
"With the Eagle Express plan and the university's dedication to excellence in education, UNT shows that we support our students and aim to prepare them for successful careers," said Smatresk. "That our enrollment continues to remain strong and steady shows that our students value their education at UNT."
UNT's continuing focus on increasing the academic achievement level of students admitted is reflected by this year's freshman class, which scored an average of 1109 on its SAT test, a point higher than last year's record.
The diversity of the UNT student body, already one of the nation's most diverse, continues to grow in several areas. This fall, 7,065 Hispanic students are enrolled, a 3.9 percent increase over the 6,799 number for fall 2013. A total of 4,980 African-American students registered for classes compared to 4,796 in fall 2013, an increase of 3.8 percent. The Asian-Pacific Island student population grew 3.5 percent to 2,424 from last year's 2,341. UNT's American Indian student population grew 5.1 percent from 513 students to 539 for fall 2014.
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.