Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Texas State University's Unavoidable Growing Enrollment

Valerie Villarreal
SAN MARCOS-Texas State University's growing diverse population has brought about many good and bad reactions from the student population.

For the 16th consecutive year, Texas State University has set a new record for total enrollment, reaching more than 31,000 students, an increase of more than 1,500 students. The school also now has the most diverse student body in the school's history.

The growing enrollment has made a change in the daily life of Texas State’s students. Many students say walking around campus has become a challenge. Inside the classrooms, there are the same number of seats going against a larger student body. Many students said they fear the classes will become harder to enroll in. Others say if the school added more classes or more professors it could cause the tuition to increase.

“Let’s be honest, that would not be a good thing,” sophomore Shannon Quay said.

The increased enrollment has also affected student's ability to get into the dorms.

“It was hard to get into a dorm because there were so many students enrolling,” said Texas State University student Carly Jountraw.

Students say finding parking and room on the bus is also difficult. James Ottman, a Texas State University graduate, said he read in an article that the school had oversold commuter parking permits by nearly 9,000.

Many students said the school needs to build more accommodations for the increase in student size.

“They should add more buses and more parking so it is easier to get to and from campus,” said Texas State University student Stephen Torres.

Other students are seeing the effects of the population growth with the amount of construction  and traffic that has appeared around town.

However, several students are seeing the bright side of the increased enrollment. Some students said the growth in Texas State University would aid local businesses and help Texas State University’s status. Texas State junior Colby Gober said the increase in students will set the standards higher for Texas State University.

“Things are changing and we are no longer quite the party school that Texas State has been known for since it was Southwest Texas," Gober said.

Texas State President Denise M. Trauth said the new high enrollment demonstrated that Texas State University continues to be a leading university in the state. Students and their families are recognizing that the school can offer both an outstanding experience as well as an exceptional value.

“We take our role in preparing the next-generation work force in Texas very seriously, so it is gratifying to see that so many incoming students are choosing to attend Texas State,” she said in a statement.

The incoming freshman class of 5,181 showed a 22 percent increase from 2012. About 49 percent of incoming freshman were in the top 25 percent in their high school graduating class.  

"Of those, a larger number of freshmen from the top 10 percent of their graduating class were among this group than in previous years," Trauth said.

With the growing enrollment, minorities now make 42 percent of the student body. Hispanics consist of 30 percent of the university's population and African-Americans enrollment increased by 14 percent which now accounts for eight percent of the student body.
Texas State Provost Eugene Bourgeous said it is important that Texas State University’s growth reflect the growing diversity of the state. 

"We are pleased that our efforts to recruit students from all backgrounds has led to a truly divers population at Texas State,” he said in a statement.

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