Texas Tech University

Texas Tech University Surpasses 40,000 Students

George Watson

September 22, 2020

Another year of record growth includes benchmarks in retention and graduation rates.

Despite challenges presented by the COVID-19 pandemic, Texas Tech University has continued a growth trend that has made it one of the fastest-growing institutions in the United States in the last 10 years. This fall, Texas Tech has again attained a record enrollment, for the 12th consecutive year, with 40,322 students as of the 20th day of class on Monday (Sept. 21).

"The most impressive aspect of our growth is that it has been achieved alongside significant improvements in student success as reflected in record retention and graduation rates and widespread recognition of Texas Tech as a national research institution," said Lawrence Schovanec, Texas Tech president. "This significant benchmark in enrollment reflects the work of our faculty and staff, increased scholarship support, enhanced recruitment and marketing strategies, and the support and success of our alumni who contribute to the Texas Tech brand."


In surpassing 40,000 students, Texas Tech has exceeded an ambitious goal that was often cited by then-Chancellor Kent Hance, and formally announced in the Making it Possible, 2010-2020 Strategic Plan, when Texas Tech enrolled 30,049 students. It's significant that Texas Tech has met every aspect of that lofty goal:

  • Grow to 40,000 students by 2020, with a heavy emphasis on increasing the number of transfer and graduate students and ensuring a diverse population of students; concentrating not only on the size of the freshman class but also on retention and graduation rates at or exceeding the average of the university's peers.

This fall's enrollment, which includes a record number of 7,053 graduate students, represents a 34% increase over the total enrollment when the goal was announced. Texas Tech's growth has been significantly aided by its diverse student population that has increased by nearly 9,000 in the last 10 years. The university has seen an eight-fold increase in Hispanic students and a six-fold increase in Black students during this time.

Texas Tech's growth has been accompanied by record retention and graduation rates. This fall, Texas Tech achieved records in first-year retention (87.6%) and six-year graduation rates (63.3%).

Significant increases in scholarship awards over the past five years have helped Texas Tech recruit a record number of Presidential Merit Scholars and National Merit Finalists. This year's class has 3,966 Presidential Scholars compared to 1,733 five years ago. The incoming class also includes 20 National Merit Finalists, bringing the campus total to a record 72, a 10-fold increase since 2015.