A Fabulous First: UT Dallas Enrollment Tops 15,000
Class of 2012 Scored an Average 1248 on the Scholastic Aptitude Test;
Nearly Half Come from Top 10 Percent of Graduating High School Classes
Sept. 10, 2008
Enrollment at UT Dallas has reached 15,065, setting a new record in the University’s 39-year history, according to preliminary figures released Monday.
Also up this year is the average SAT score for entering freshmen — 1248 from 1240 — which is likely to be near the top of the averages among Texas public universities in the state.
The number of students enrolled for the fall semester jumped by about 3.5 percent over 2007 according to the initial data. Final figures won’t be reported to the state until early October. Typically numbers decrease slightly.
“Our enrollment numbers suggest we’re on track to reach our goals [for a Tier One university], and, with the addition of innovative new degree offerings, I’m confident we’ll broaden our appeal to an even more diverse group of talented students.”
Dr. David E. Daniel,
The growth outlook is positive, according to UT Dallas President David E. Daniel, who said a key number to watch when tracking enrollment each fall is the percentage gain in new students. There, the University is up 6.8 percent compared to last fall.
“That’s the approximate number we aim for each year to sustain the overall growth we’re targeting as part of our strategic plan,” Daniel said.
That plan, which outlines goals for becoming a Tier One research university, calls for the size of the student body to increase to approximately 22,000 within the next 10 years.
“Our enrollment numbers suggest we’re on track to reach those goals, and, with the addition of innovative new degree offerings, I’m confident we’ll broaden our appeal to an even more diverse group of talented students,” Daniel added.
Longer-term trends at UT Dallas reflect significant increases in enrollment, with an approximate 49 percent growth over the last 10 years, or an addition of 4,968 students. The University had a total of 10,097 students in the 1998-1999 school year.
The number of new freshman for fall 2008 currently stands at 1,123. More than 70 percent of that group hails from the top 25 percent of their collective high school class, with 40 percent coming from the top 10 percent.
The number of undergraduate students at the University grew 2.3 percent to 10,016, while the number of graduate students increased to 5,049, or 6 percent.
Preliminary enrollment numbers for fall 2008 show that the largest single group of students who classify themselves as being members of minority populations is Asian/Pacific Islander (about 18 percent of total enrollment). That group is followed by Hispanic (about 9 percent) and African-American (about 7 percent). International students make up about 15 percent of the total.
The gender breakdown of the student body is about the same as last year — 55 percent male (8,266) and 45 percent female (6,799). The University’s oldest student is 88 years old, and its youngest is 16. The majority of students call Texas home, but other top states of origin include California, Oklahoma, New York, Illinois and Florida.
Another important component of the University’s strategic plan includes adding degrees in sought-after fields. Recently implemented offerings include bachelor’s or graduate degrees in mechanical engineering; finance and supply-chain management; and constitutional law and legislative studies.
“We must be continually mindful of meeting our region’s, and indeed our country’s, need for top talent,” said Curt Eley, vice president for Enrollment Management at UT Dallas. “One of the surest ways to fulfill that need is to attract students with up-and-coming academic programs.
“We must be continually mindful of meeting our region’s, and indeed our country’s, need for top talent. One of the surest ways to fulfill that need is to attract students with up-and-coming academic programs.”
“We also recognize the importance and urgent need for comprehensive science and math education, so we’ve added programs in those areas to help instruct the great teachers and leaders of tomorrow,” Eley added.
Some of the most popular undergraduate majors at the University include business administration, biology, telecommunications engineering, accounting and information management, interdisciplinary studies and computer science.
The largest enrollment in master’s and doctoral programs is found in management, accounting and information management, computer science, telecommunications engineering, information technology and management, communication disorders, the humanities, public affairs and public policy and political economy.
Another attraction that has helped boost enrollment is the University’s innovative Comet Connection program, which allows students who transfer from community colleges to lock in their tuition rate for four years from the time of their registration in the program.
“We now have 1,155 potential University enrollees signed up with Comet Connection,” Eley said. “In fact, to-date, 899 have been admitted and 509 have enrolled as students.”
As UT Dallas continues to add students, new buildings and services are planned to help accommodate growth.
Earlier this year, administrators broke ground on a new, 148,000-square-foot, 400-bed residence hall. The suite-style hall will offer living-learning communities in which small groups of students with common academic goals and interests live together.
Also under construction is a 28,000-square-foot dining hall that will offer full meal plans seven days a week. Both projects are expected to be completed in time for the start of classes by fall 2009.
In the coming months and year, the University expects to break ground on, among other projects, a Math Science and Teaching-Learning Center; a complete renovation of Founders Hall, one of the original structures on campus; a Student Services building; and a major campus landscape enhancement that will dramatically change the look and feel of UT Dallas.
“Above all else, our purpose is to educate students and prepare them for a lifetime of contribution, leadership and personal fulfillment,” Daniel said. “Though I’m excited about what these numbers indicate in terms of our growth, I’m even more enthusiastic about the bright future that awaits our students.”