Enrollment at The University of Texas-Pan American continues to rise as official numbers provided by the Office of Admissions and Records have indicated a seven percent increase for the 2004 spring semester from last year.
This spring, 15,152 students enrolled at the University - an increase of almost 1,000 from the 2003 spring semester.
"Part of our spring increase can be attributed to the 10 percent increase we had in the fall, coupled with our improving retention rate," said Dennis McMillan, associate vice president for Enrollment and Student Services. "We also feel that we are attracting better prepared students to UTPA."
UT Pan American has maintained a steady increase in the past few semesters. According to the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board, the University has already surpassed enrollment predications placed as part of the Closing the Gaps campaign - an initiative set up by the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board (THECB) to ensure educational success for all students.
By the year 2015, UT Pan American is expected to enroll more than 26,000 students.
"I believe that we will continue to outpace those projections," McMillan said. "Our most recent census shows the Valley to be one of the fastest growing areas in the country. As long as we experience that sort of population growth, UTPA will be challenged to meet the educational needs of the people of South Texas, Northern Mexico and beyond."
Although changes in admission requirements for the spring semester - which required students to submit applications by an earlier deadline - may have kept more students from enrolling, McMillan said they were implemented as an initial process to help better serve the expanding University population.
"We are in the process of increasing our admissions standards in phases over the next seven years," he said. "We have already changed our process to require an earlier admissions deadline. This may have cost us some students this semester, but in return, we feel we were better able to serve the students."