UTA enrolls largest freshman class in university history
The University of Texas at Arlington has enrolled its largest freshman class ever and set records for overall degrees and certificates and graduate degrees.
The university said that follows UTA’s record number of total degree and certificate conferrals, and graduate degrees for the 2019-20 academic year.
Overall headcount enrollment is estimated at 42,733, which represents a decrease of just 0.3% from fall 2019 based on preliminary data, a remarkable run of consistency given the unusual economic and global health circumstances of the past six months, the university said in a news release.
UTA has seen 3,820 freshmen enroll for the fall term, a 6.8% increase in first-time-in-college students.
Interim President Teik C. Lim said more freshmen students are choosing UTA than ever before, attracted by the university’s faculty excellence, expertise in e-learning, growing research enterprise and commitment to expanding access to higher education.
“Despite the uncertainties of recent months, UTA continues to attract first-rate students from Texas and beyond who witness the research and academic excellence of our incredible students, faculty and staff, and the invaluable commitment of our alumni and community partners,” Lim said in the news release. “All of our work centers on our students, who are prepared to shape the world with their ideas, innovation and spirit.”
One such student is freshman Harrison Young, who is a National Merit Scholar, one of just 2,500 winners nationwide in 2020 for achieving among the top 1% of test scores on the Preliminary SAT.
“UT Arlington has a great scholarship for National Merit Scholars, and that was one of the leading factors in coming here,” said Young, who is majoring in computer science and engineering. “I had heard that the computer science program is terrific at UTA, too.”
The freshman class is also bringing exceptional academic talent to the university, including an increase in the number of students from the top 10% of their high school class and a three-point jump in average SAT score, UTA said.
Troy Johnson, vice president for enrollment management, said the university’s mission is to support students and to help keep the best talent in Texas.
“We are making opportunities available, and the best and brightest students are using those opportunities,” Johnson said. “This freshman class represents a new standard for UTA, and the academic quality of the class is especially impressive.”
The strides in enrollment come against the backdrop of COVID-19, which forced universities nationwide to rethink how they deliver education.
UTA quickly adapted through new course modalities, enhanced safety protocols and an increased emphasis on distance learning, the latter of which plays to the university’s strength as a leader in e-learning education, the news release said.
The University also continues to excel in graduating large classes of talented students. In 2019-20, UT Arlington set a record with 14,303 degrees and certificates awarded.
UTA also conferred a record-setting 280 doctorate and 4,970 master’s degrees in 2019-20, making the University one of the state’s largest contributors to a high-quality workforce for all of Texas, the school’s news release said.