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UHV preliminary fall enrollment shows highest-ever number of freshmen

Sept. 15, 2012 at 4:15 a.m.

University of Houston-Victoria freshmen take part in a welcome event to kickoff the Jaguar Journey new student orientation before the start of the fall semester. The fall 2012 freshman class is the university's largest ever.

The University of Houston-Victoria is more highly attended than ever before because of a record number of freshmen and another increase in the overall number of students.

According to preliminary fall enrollment figures, there are 273 new freshmen attending UHV, easily surpassing the previous high of 218 set in fall 2010.

Overall enrollment rose to 4,398, the highest in the university's 40-year history. UHV has seen an increase in its fall enrollment every year.

Enrollment has risen 159 percent since 2000, and the university recently was named the third fastest-growing public master's institution in the nation from 2000 to 2010, according to The Chronicle of Higher Education's 2012-13 Almanac.

"We are thrilled to once again set a record for the highest enrollment in the history of the university," UHV President Phil Castille said. "We are especially excited to have our largest freshman class on campus. With quality academic programs, top-notch faculty and staff, and one of the lowest tuition rates in the state, it's no wonder we've been able to grow year after year."

This is the third year underclassmen are able to take classes at UHV's Victoria campus. Before fall 2010, UHV only offered classes for juniors, seniors and graduate students.

During the 2009-10 academic year, 451 students took classes on Victoria's campus; now that number has more than doubled.

"The greatest growth has been right here in Victoria," Castille said. "That shows the success of adding underclassman."

Including transfer students, UHV now has 335 freshmen. Together with sophomores, UHV has 624 underclassmen.

Castille said UHV is a 24-hour campus with classes and events in the evenings, and freshmen and sophomores living and dining at the two university residence halls.

UHV broke ground on an additional residence hall, Jaguar Suites, on Aug. 30.

"The transition to having underclassman has been an exciting process but also a challenging one," Castille said.

UHV opened in 1973 with about 100 students. The university first exceeded 3,000 students in fall 2008 and then crossed over the 4,000 student mark in fall 2010. Last fall, 4,330 were students enrolled at UHV.

The growth has been especially strong since fall 2007. Enrollment has gone up 58 percent during the past five years.

"This sustained, yearly growth is a credit to our hard-working faculty, staff and administrators," said Jeffrey Cass, UHV provost and vice president for academic affairs. "We have been proactive in adding new programs, expanding our teaching to new sites and making it easier than ever before for students to access our academic and support services."

Final fall enrollment figures and a breakdown of student demographics will be released later in the semester after certification from the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board.

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