SAN MARCOS, Texas — Southwest Texas State University has set its fourth consecutive fall semester enrollment record and has passed the 25,000-student mark for the first time.
SWT reported a 12th class day enrollment of 25,065 students for the 2002 fall semester. The 12th class day enrollment figure is considered the official enrollment benchmark.
The current figure represents a 6.4 percent increase over the 23,549 students SWT enrolled in the fall of 2001.
Joanne Smith, associate vice president of student affairs and SWT’s director of enrollment management, said the university is well on its way to meeting its targets established by the statewide Closing the Gaps initiative. Closing the Gaps is an effort to improve educational access in Texas and includes efforts in recruitment and retention aimed at making university enrollments more reflective of the state’s population.
“Our Closing the Gaps target was 25,135 students by the fall of 2005, so we are already approaching that goal. Our fall 2005 target for African American students was 1,257 and we’ve surpassed that goal by enrolling 1,289 African American students this fall,” said Smith.
In fact, minority students now comprise 25.7 percent of the total SWT student population. Hispanic students make up about 18 percent of the student body, and African American students about 5 percent. There are 4,538 Hispanic students enrolled at SWT this fall.
SWT also continued its progress in improving retention rates. Retention of new freshmen who enrolled at SWT last fall is 76 percent, compared to 74 percent from the previous fall.
Overall, undergraduate enrollment at SWT increased 4.5 percent, or 905 students from a year ago. Graduate student enrollment was up 17.1 percent, or 422 students.
Smith noted, “The gradute student enrollment increase is an indication of the growth of our graduate programs and was a significant factor in the enrollment increase.”
Students registered for 17,127 more semester credit hours than in fall 2001, an increase of 6.2 percent.