San Marcos Mercury | Local News from San Marcos and Hays County, Texas

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SOURCE: Texas State University System, Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board


AUSTIN — Led by unprecedented gains at its unofficial flagship in San Marcos, enrollment at the Texas State University System’s eight universities and colleges grew 2.8 percent, the largest collective increase in three years.

As of Wednesday — the last day for students to withdraw from classes without penalty — systemwide enrollment stood at 81,291, up 2,240 from 79,051 in fall 2013. All five of the system’s four-year institutions reported enrollment increases over the last year’s totals, enough to offset across-the-board enrollment declines at its three two-year schools.

Texas State University itself reported total enrollment of 36,790, or 3.5 percent more than the 35,546 students who attended the university in fall 2013. The total — which includes both graduate and undergraduate students and the nearly 1,900 who take classes at the university’s Round Rock campus — is bolstered by 5,365 incoming freshmen, also a record for the university.

“We take seriously our role in preparing our state’s future leader and workforce, and this steady growth tells us that students and their parents feel the same way,” university president Denise M. Trauth said in a written statement that also heralded strides toward assembling a more racially diverse student population.

Enrollment of black students increased more than 19 percent to 3,371 students, university spokesperson Jayme Blaschke said, while Latino enrollment increased about nine percent to 11,626 students. Racial minorities make up 46 percent of the student body, Blaschke said.

The record-setting semester at Texas State caps a decade of phenomenal growth. The student population has increased by 10,007 since fall 2005, an 37.4 percent jump. Texas State fall enrollment has increased each of the last 17 years, Blaschke said.

Other highlights of “Census Day” reports from Texas State University System institutions:

Lamar University in Beaumont reported 14,661 students, a 6.5 percent increase. Meanwhile, the Lamar Institute of Technology, also in Beaumont, Lamar College at Orange and Lamar College at Port Arthur lost 392 students between them, a decrease of about five percent.

Sam Houston State University in Huntsville reported 19,577 students, a 1.9 percent increase and the slowest rate of growth among four-year institutions in the system.

Sul Ross State University in Alpine reported 1,940 students, an 2.7 percent increase, while Sul Ross Rio Grande College in Uvalde, Eagle Pass and Del Rio reported 1,047 students, a 7.3 percent increase.

Despite the loss seven years ago of Angelo State University’s 6,000-7,000 students, student enrollment within the Texas State University System has increased 28.6 percent since fall 2005. In 2007, the Legislature stripped the San Angelo university from the Texas State University System and handed it to the Lubbock-based Texas Tech University System.

Of the 18,064-student enrollment increase seen in the last decade by the Texas State University System, about 55 percent of the gains were from students who enrolled at Texas State University.

COVER: Detail of “Fighting Stallions,” an imposing Anna Hyatt Huntington bronze in the Quad at Texas State University in San Marcos. PHOTO via TEXAS STATE OFFICE OF UNIVERSITY MARKETING. SAN MARCOS MERCURY GRAPHIC by BRAD ROLLINS.

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