For the 16th year in a row Texas State University has had record-setting enrollment, reaching 35,568 students in the 2013 fall semester.
The student population grew by 1,343 students since 2012 and Texas State officials report that the student body as a whole is the most diverse it has been since the University first opened in 1899. Undergraduate enrollment has increased by 1,574 students, including 5,181 freshmen alone.
“Of those, a large number of freshmen from the top ten percent of their graduating class were among this group than in previous years,” University President Denise M. Trauth said in the press release. The press release from September of 2013 showed that 49% of the incoming freshmen were of the top 25 percentile of their High school senior class.
“This new high in student enrollment demonstrates that Texas State continues to be a leading university in the state, and that students and their families recognize our institution offers both an outstanding educational experience as well as an exceptional value,” said Trauth.
Official reports state that minority attendance at the University makes up 45% of the student body. The Hispanic population makes up 30% of the student body alone since increasing by twelve percent, and African American enrollment has increased by fourteen percent.
“As the demographics of Texas shift, it is important that our institutions of higher learning adequately reflect the growing diversity of this state, so we are most pleased that our efforts to recruit students from all backgrounds has led to a truly diverse population at Texas State, “ said Eugene Bourgeois, the University Provost, as he reflected on the Universities growth in diversity.
For many students the rapid growth in enrollment and diversity at the university is seen as a positive aspect, and for many students was even a deciding factor in enrolling at Texas State.
Texas State is becoming more popular and definitely played in one of the reasons why I choose it over the other universities that I was looking into," said Sydney Afflitto, an education major at Texas State.
Students also see the mass diversification of Texas State as beneficial to their social lives, helping them be more open and receptive by exposing them to a wide variety of different people.
"It's a good thing because I'm one of those people. I started last semester. It gives you a chance to meet people from all walks of life," said Victoria Herrera, a 19-year-old freshman and marketing major at the university.
However, though many students are excited to see the university continue to grow, others feel as though it is growing too fast and claim to be negatively affected by the circumstances. With rapid growth comes construction, traffic, and class schedule conflict, all which students campus-wide are claiming to be negatively affected by. To accommodate the growth of the university the city of San Marcos had begun constructing new student housing locations and widening roads, and this city-wide remodeling has been taking a tole on many students.
"Well, people have complained about traffic and I will agree there’s a lot of cars on the road. Construction is so frustrating cause it seems like it's always going on," said Mason Randolph, an environmental studies senior.
Parking seems to also be a significant issue to most students who say it affects their schedule and convenience daily.
"It's become more difficult to find parking. Very crowded especially since we have the biggest freshman class this year," said Ashley Jeffries, a 19-year-old freshman studying music education.
Though there are many mixed feelings and perspectives towards the growth in enrollment and diversity at Texas State, it is clear that the growth is a sign of success in the university. It shows that as an educational institution Texas State embodies an exemplary educational experience to it’s students and thus continues to recruit more and more students each year.