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Despite Pandemic Challenge, Fall TAMIU Enrollment Sets New Record Posted: 10/01/20

Despite Pandemic Challenge, Fall TAMIU Enrollment Sets New Record


TAMIU President Dr. Pablo Arenaz
TAMIU President Dr. Pablo Arenaz  

Texas A&M International University (TAMIU) president Dr. Pablo Arenaz says his days, nights and weekends for the past six and a half months have been an extended COVID-19 pandemic response blur.

“Like many, it seems that no waking moment is not occupied by the pandemic.  For me, it’s been focused on how to best enable the University to safely deliver its mission. That’s why it’s especially gratifying to see that our  administrative efforts, coupled with the commitment of our faculty  and the unwavering drive of our students  -- have yielded yet another Fall  enrollment record, attaining the highest TAMIU Fall Enrollment to date…despite the many challenges of our day.  Many colleges and universities have seen drops in enrollment, so we are especially pleased,”  Dr. Arenaz said.

In unofficial numbers pending submission to the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board, TAMIU is showing a record Fall 2020 total enrollment of  8,467, above the previous Fall enrollment of  8,448.

Arenaz said he attributes the Fall gain to three factors.

“First, and foremost, an absolute full-campus commitment to making sure that our students could safely continue their degree progress via four course delivery modalities that are flexible to student needs while adhering to CDC, State, System and City health guidance.

“Second, student resilience and faculty innovation.  Our students have a laser-focused desire to realize their educational goal. Through their innovation in teaching, outreach and research, our faculty have supported students’ goals and made them attainable… despite  internal and external challenges.

“Third, the University’s momentum and growth has continued unabated.  We’ve launched three new degree programs:  Computer Engineering, Petroleum Engineering and Public Health…all of which are generating strong student interest,” he explained.

Arenaz said the strong significance of the University maintaining its enrollment is especially relevant as the University readies for the 87th Legislature to convene.

“Nationally, the trend has been an average 2.5% decrease. While we always want to see a high enrollment every semester, semesters leading up to the start of the Session are crucial to formula funding.  What this Fall 2020 enrollment affirms is that despite extraordinary challenges never before seen in our lifetimes, our administration, faculty, staff and students have responded.  That response has been a robust affirmation of and commitment to delivering our higher education mission.

“The Legislature will face certain challenges to funding the State’s needs, but this enrollment affirms that in this part of South Texas, we believe in the importance of our hometown University.  Despite these challenging times, that’s a message everyone should be able to get behind,” Dr. Arenaz said.

 Among highlights of this semester’ enrollment at TAMIU:

TAMIU women outnumber men, 62% to 38% and 65% of TAMIU students are fulltime while 19% are part-time.  While 97% of students are from Texas, 30 international countries are also represented. The student traveling the farthest hails from Thailand, over 9,100 miles away.

The average undergraduate is 21.25, the average graduate student 32 and the average doctoral student is 38.  The  University’s youngest student is 13 and the oldest 68. Over 64% of students identify as first-generation: the first in their family to pursue a higher education.  Over 114 Texas high schools are represented in the freshman class and 31.5% of members were ranked in the Top 25% of their class.

The average undergraduate class size is 30 and graduate class size is 16.  The  top five undergraduate majors in order are Nursing, Business Administration, Criminal Justice, Biology and Psychology.  The largest enrollment increase, 21%, was in the College of Nursing and Health.

The top graduate programs are Business Administration, Criminal Justice, Curriculum and Instruction, Public Administration and Educational Administration.  Graduate School enrollment is up 12%  with the online master’s in Business Administration seeing the most growth to 138 students.  Doctoral students in the International Business program number 17.

Over 500 students are transfers, 4,978 are taking an online class and there are 697 TAMIU alums holding a TAMIU undergraduate degree awarded since 2006 pursuing a graduate degree.

TAMIU’s summer enrollment also saw a 9.78% increase in headcount to 3,642 students and a near 9% increase from 21,750 SCH to 23,649.  Summer course delivery was completely online.

Online job search platform Zippia recently ranked TAMIU fifth in its national Top 10 Total Package Colleges…the only Texas university  so ranked.

In its annual Student Loan Debt by School by State Report, LendEDU ranked TAMIU  second in the nation and first in Texas for having the lowest student debt, on average $3,477 among the 475 U.S. Colleges and Universities surveyed.  The 2020 Texas Higher Education Almanac, looking at debt levels of 2019 bachelor’s graduates, also ranked TAMIU second lowest in the state for average debt.  Great Value Colleges ranked TAMIU 5th in the nation among the 100 Most Affordable Public Schools with the Highest Return on Investment.

TAMIU has also earned a top tier ranking for its COVID-19 Pandemic response. The 2020 Educate to Career College ranking placed TAMIU in Tier I for colleges and universities responding  to the pandemic in ways that benefit and protect students, especially in terms of available online learning resources. Some 1200 colleges across the nation were reviewed.

TAMIU is open and providing all services. Facial coverings are required inside and outside all campus buildings.  Social distancing and gathering standards are observed.

TAMIU’s Fall semester 2020 classes end Wednesday, November 25  with final exams delivered online Dec. 1 - 8.  Spring 2021 classes begin Monday, Jan. 25, 2021.




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