The freshman class of 2017 set breaking records by having a total enrollment number of 5,875—including both San Marcos and Round Rock campuses.
Although the freshman enrollment was at an all-time high this year, the total number of enrolled students at Texas State went down from 38,849 in fall 2016 to 38,694 in fall 2017.
Gary Ray, associate vice president for Enrollment Management and Marketing, said the dropping enrollment is something to be looked at positively.
“Here’s the reason,” Ray said. “We had over 8,400 graduates in this past year. That was a record for us; it was up 5.8 percent over last year.”
Among the most declared majors were engineering, health professions and education-related degrees, with the College of Science and Engineering gaining 289 freshmen, the most student population increase overall. This growth is due in part by the numerous degrees added to the university during the last few years.
However, the College of Health Professions has seen a 4.7 percent enrollment increase of 141 students, the largest percentage gain of all the other colleges since last year.
The Office of Media Relations states that the university’s growth in science and engineering, as well as health professions, reflects an escalating need in Texas’ work force for more skilled workers in those disciplines.
More than 50 percent of the freshman, as well as the total student enrollment 38,694, at Texas State have been identified as an ethnic minority.
“Our incoming class is over 50 percent diverse, and it’s been that way the past couple years,” Ray said. “But overall, it reflects the whole university as well.”
As well as ethnic minorities, this year’s freshmen have also achieved 51 percent of students ranking in the top quartile of the high school they graduated from. Due to this accomplishment, and many other qualifications Texas State has achieved, the university is on its way to achieving its status as a research university. If obtained, this status will grant students more research opportunities to further their education and build stronger resumes.
Gene Bourgeois, provost and vice president for Academic Affairs, said Texas State will continue its growth in the upcoming semesters.
“Texas State will continue to expand its academic programs, particularly at the graduate level, to produce more specially trained workers to meet our state’s greatest workforce needs,” Bourgeois said.