North Texas Daily

Spring enrollment increases, retention rises

Spring enrollment increases, retention rises

February 04
22:08 2013

Ben Peyton / Senior Staff Writer

UNT spring enrollment numbers indicate UNT is becoming a first choice of high school graduates, is increasing its retention rates, and a has a record number of freshmen and doctoral students.

“Growth in a spring semester is important because it usually means, as it does in this case, that the university’s existing students are continuing their studies and new students are joining them,” said assistant vice president of university relations Kelley Reese.

A total of 33,715 students are enrolled this spring compared to 33,505 in spring of 2012 and the freshmen enrollment rate has increased 7.1 percent during that time, according to a UNT press release.

The increase in the freshmen enrollment rate is indicative of UNT becoming a first choice by people pursuing higher education, said Director of undergraduate admissions Rebecca Lothringer.

“The last couple of years we’ve seen a lot more interest in UNT being that first choice,” she said.

UNT originally had a timeline to reach 45,000 students by 2016, but is now slowing its pursuit with no end date, to build the proper infrastructure on campus, said vice president for student affairs Elizabeth With.

The Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board also anticipates that UNT will not reach 45,000 in the next couple of years.

The fall 2012 rate, which is usually larger than the spring of the same academic year, was 35,778 students with less than 100 new freshmen students having transferred to UNT for the spring semester.

Reese says this is indicative of a growing retention rate.

“The growth in continuing students, especially when combined with the growth in semester credit hours, is important because it indicates that UNT students are focused on earning their degrees,” Reese said.

As of 2010, UNT ranks No. 11 on a list of 31 Texas universities based on highest graduation rates in four years at 19 percent, according to the U.S. Department of Education’s National Center for Education Statistics.

The University of Texas at Austin is the only school on the list that graduates more than half of its students in four years at 52.5 percent.

No statistics are official until the 20th class day and are expected to fluctuate in that time.

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