MARCH 17, 2021 — At a time when some institutions of higher education across the country are experiencing a decline in enrollment as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, UTSA’s spring enrollment numbers are on the rise for the fifth consecutive year.
According to census data compiled by the university’s Institutional Research and Analysis team, 31,698 students are enrolled this semester, which is a 5% increase over last spring. This is a strong indicator that UTSA is well on its way toward reaching its enrollment target of 45,000 students by 2028.
UTSA’s senior vice provost for strategic enrollment Lynn Barnes attributes this growth to a number of targeted efforts that were underway before the pandemic, such as increased marketing and communications to prospective students and families, increased engagement with Academic Advising and other student success programs to help keep students on track, as well as the tuition and financial aid support packages offered to eligible students through the Bold Promise program.
However, some of the ways the university responded to the pandemic may also have contributed to the growth in enrollment.
“UTSA took swift action to make more financial aid available and offered significant refunds to help students in need,” Barnes said. “The institution has disbursed over $20 million in additional financial support to students from both institutional funds and allocations from the Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund. Additionally, I applaud the great work of our faculty for providing more flexible class options for students and for the tremendous teaching and learning support our Academic Innovation team has provided to our faculty and students through this stressful time.”
The most notable growth is in the number of master’s students, which has risen from 3,123 to 3,700 in spring 2021, representing an 18% increase. Doctoral student enrollment increased by nearly 3% as well, bringing the total number of students pursuing graduate degrees at UTSA to just over 4,500.
The growth in the number of master’s students is largely a result of the Keep Running With Us auto-admit program launched in May 2020, notes UTSA’s vice provost for graduate studies and dean of the Graduate School Ambika Mathur.
“Keep Running With Us was very successful in matriculating highly qualified students who otherwise were not considering graduate school,” Mathur said. “I am proud of the fact that almost 65% students admitted through this program are Latinx or African American. In addition, not requiring test scores also increased our applicant pool and yield of an outstanding cadre of students, equal to if not exceeding the excellence of our earlier classes.”
UTSA continues to attract a diverse group of students, with the majority identifying as Hispanic (57%), 22% identifying as white, 8% as Black or African American and 6% as Asian. Additionally, while the number of international students decreased slightly overall, they still make up 3% of the student population.
The full analysis will be available in UTSA’s Enrollment Dashboard later this semester.
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The University of Texas at San Antonio is dedicated to the advancement of knowledge through research and discovery, teaching and learning, community engagement and public service. As an institution of access and excellence, UTSA embraces multicultural traditions and serves as a center for intellectual and creative resources as well as a catalyst for socioeconomic development and the commercialization of intellectual property - for Texas, the nation and the world.
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UTSA is a proud Hispanic Serving Institution (HSI) as designated by the U.S. Department of Education.
The University of Texas at San Antonio, a Hispanic Serving Institution situated in a global city that has been a crossroads of peoples and cultures for centuries, values diversity and inclusion in all aspects of university life. As an institution expressly founded to advance the education of Mexican Americans and other underserved communities, our university is committed to ending generations of discrimination and inequity. UTSA, a premier public research university, fosters academic excellence through a community of dialogue, discovery and innovation that embraces the uniqueness of each voice.