TAMIU Enrollment Grows 4.7%,
Scholarship Support Critical
A local infusion of scholarship funds provided by a donor helped Texas A&M International University (TAMIU) post an increase in enrollment for the Fall 2012 semester, based on unofficial figures.
“This semester, our unofficial enrollment stands at 7,367, a modest 4.7% increase over this period last year of 7,037,” said TAMIU president Dr. Ray Keck, who said a variety of factors helped the University to grow.
“I would say one of those factors certainly was the announcement of expanded scholarship funds after a $500,000 anonymous gift was received by the University. Other factors which we believe are helping to fuel growth are external accolades the University has received, which have helped to elevate it for consideration by potential students,” he noted.
TAMIU has been heralded for its low cost by both CNN and The New York Times and was named the state’s leading producer of degrees for Latino students by the Texas Higher Education Journal. The University’s assessment program was cited by a national research group.
“I also think more local and regional students are attracted by program quality, our gifted faculty, important student support programs and a dynamic student life that anchors the campus. This semester, we’ve attracted over 2,300 new, first-time students,” he explained.
But the University is hardly resting on its laurels, he said.
“Our focus in the next 10 days will be to work with enrolled students to make sure that they can pay their fees. Our financial aid staff is working relentlessly to contact them, find out about their needs and try to identify funding sources that can keep them here for the semester. We want them here, we want them to graduate and we want them to be able to meet their financial obligations, of course,” Keck noted.
Keck said the enrollment increase, while modest, helps the University to make its case for funding from the Legislature.
“It’s clear to us that students are drawn by quality, but that quality is only accessible to the majority through strong financial aid programs. Reductions in some of those programs impacted summer enrollment statewide. For example, this summer’s enrollment was among the lowest in our history and can be linked in part to reduced Pell Grant awards for summer enrollment students,” he opined.
Reductions in PELL and the Texas Grant, which are crucial for many TAMIU students, will likely continue to impact students, he said.
“We are working together with our legislative team to continue to make a strong case for higher education support in South Texas and are cautiously optimistic,” he said.
Keck said interest in the coming Spring semester is already being driven by the announcement of two additional programs.
“We will be launching our online RN to BSN this Spring and have a new Master’s that includes a translation component. Both have seemed to really excite potential students. The first is our affordable $10,000 degree and the second takes advantage of our region’s distinct language strengths,” he said.
In the long run, he said, higher education is still an investment to be made.
“Higher education remains the most important investment for families. Our charge is to make sure that that investment remains affordable, accessible and relevant,” he concluded.
TAMIU Financial Aid offices are open for extended services on Wednesdays and Thursdays from 8 a.m. – 7 p.m.; 8 a.m. – 5 p.m. Monday and Tuesday and Friday from 8 a.m. – 3 p.m. Call 326.2225 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
For University information, contact the TAMIU Office of Public Relations, Marketing and Information Services at 956.326.2180, visit tamiu.edu or email email@example.com
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