A new year brings a record first-year class to Texas Tech University.
Opportunity. Affordability. Experience. Family. Home.
All of these words have been used by incoming 2022 students about Texas Tech University. These words also have translated into more strategic milestones for enrollment this fall.
On September 23, Texas Tech announced it had reached a new record for first-year enrollment of 6,850 students, a 2.6% increase from fall 2021.
“I think what I'm excited about is not necessarily a number, but the makeup of the class and how the student population has really changed over the last 10 years,” said Jamie Hansard, vice president of Enrollment Management.
Texas Tech has grown significantly over the last decade among its traditionally underrepresented populations. According to the Office of Institutional Research, from fall 2012 to fall 2022, Hispanic enrollment doubled while Black and African American enrollment saw more than a 50% increase.
In addition to diversifying the class, the quality of Texas Tech students has improved. This fall, 23% of first-year students graduated in the top 10% of their high school class. More than 4,400 new Presidential Merit Scholars have enrolled, and the number of National Merit Finalists went from just 7 in 2016 to 97 in 2022.
“I'm proud of our efforts to attract academically talented students while creating access and opportunity for all students, which reflects the changing demographics of our state,” Hansard added. “Together, we'll continue to work towards implementing strategies to ensure that we continue to enroll and retain students at Texas Tech.”
Those attending Texas Tech with student loans have seen a 5% reduction in average student loan debt over the last five years. This has had a particular impact on the demographics of the student population.
“Although growth in student population among diverse students is reflective of the changing demographics in the state, Texas Tech has also implemented several strategies to ensure that we continue to enroll and retain underrepresented students,” Hansard said.
What makes Hansard and most of the administration optimistic about the future is the growth in first-generation enrollment. Over a 10-year period, the number of students who identify as first-generation has more than doubled.
While Hansard and her team report more record growth in first-year student enrollment and scholarship, the Graduate School also had an enrollment bump in 2022 following a 4% increase the year before.
“We've got applications from every state in the U.S. and about 100 different countries,” boasted Mark Sheridan, vice provost for Graduate and Postdoctoral Affairs and dean of the Graduate School. “The attraction of Texas Tech both domestically and internationally, is clearly related to our continuing emergence as a nationally prominent research university.”
Graduate School enrollment for fall 2022 set a new record as well, exceeding the previous mark of over 6,900 students set in the fall of 2021.
“Growth is more than just a number,” Sheridan emphasized. “Enrollment growth is purposeful. It's part of the university's strategy to expand research and innovation that has lasting impacts on society and to meet the demand for the highly-skilled workforce necessary to secure the economic vitality of the region, state and nation.”
Whether it is the overall growth in undergraduate or graduate enrollment, the goal of Texas Tech remains the same: to ensure the success of our students by providing the tools they need to complete their degrees in a timely manner and to position them to realize their potential in their careers and as thoughtful citizens.