COLLEGE STATION, Sept. 6, 2011 — Record enrollment — exceeding 50,000 for the first time — is being reported for Texas A&M University.
Enrollment after the first week of classes totals 50,054, for an increase of 925 students over the final figure for the fall semester last year, according to Texas A&M’s Office of Institutional Studies and Planning (OISP).
Figures for the 12th class day — which will be on Sept. 13 — are those required to be reported to the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board, but the figures are not certified until the 20th class day. The figures normally vary only slightly after the first week, OISP officials note.
Texas A&M President R. Bowen Loftin said the record enrollment is not the result of a concerted effort for the university to increase its size but rather reflects the continued increase in the value of a degree from the university. He cited a recent Wall Street Journal article that shows Texas A&M to rank second nationally on the basis of employers’ satisfaction in hiring graduates of institutions throughout the nation.
“We are obviously pleased that so many young men and women choose to pursue their education aspirations at Texas A&M University and look forward to serving them in a manner that is consistent with our commitment to offering high-quality education,” Loftin stated. “As a land-grant institution, we are ever-mindful of being accessible and affordable, while also continuing to elevate our status as one of the nation’s top public universities.”
Last fall, with an enrollment of 49,129 on its main campus, Texas A&M was ranked as the sixth largest university in the nation.
Texas A&M’s marine-oriented branch campus, Texas A&M University at Galveston, also reports record fall enrollment, currently standing at 2,058, for a gain of 159 students compared to last year. Texas A&M's engineering–oriented campus at Qatar is just starting its fall semester. It had a record 473 students in attendance last fall, representing a 59-student increase. The campus in the Middle East is fully funded by Qatar Foundation for Education, Science and Community Development.
When including the two branch campuses, total enrollment for Texas A&M stands at a record 52,585 — based on the inclusion of Texas A&M University at Qatar’s 2010 fall enrollment — but that is subject to change slightly when this fall’s TAMUQ figures become available. In any event, the university’s overall figure will likely move it up even higher in the ranks of the country’s largest institutions of higher learning, officials note.
Male students on the College Station campus total 26,805, representing 53.6 percent of the overall student body. Texas A&M’s female enrollment, while continuing to trail the number of men at the once all-male institution, totals 23,249. Female enrollment increased this fall by 458, while male enrollment is up by 467.
Corps of Cadets membership continues to increase. The corps, in which participation is open to young men and women on a strictly voluntary basis, currently stands at 2,153 cadets, an increase of 184 over the same period last year.
The freshman class of 8,271 includes 600 students enrolled in the Blinn TEAM, a program in which students are jointly enrolled at Texas A&M and the Bryan campus of Blinn College. Blinn TEAM students who successfully complete the program’s requirements are then eligible to become fulltime students at Texas A&M. Blinn TEAM participation increased by 70 students this year.
The number of Hispanic freshmen stands at 1,596, for an increase of 94, and African-American freshmen total 279, an eight-student gain.
More than 25 percent of Texas A&M’s freshman class is made up of students who are the first in their families to attend college.
Transfer students total 1,774 this year, a gain of 149 over last year.
Enrollment of Hispanics and African-American students overall is also higher than for last year, with Hispanics now totaling 7,595, for an increase of 575, and African-Americans total 1,723 for a gain of nine.
Graduate student enrollment this year stands at a record 9,518, which is 53 more than for last fall, and students enrolled in the professional program category — those pursuing doctor of veterinary medicine degrees – total 525, representing an increase of nine DVM students.