The University of Houston-Victoria reached an enrollment high Wednesday with preliminary numbers showing the university enrolling more than 4,500 students for the first time.
The increase occurred across multiple categories, including graduate and undergraduate enrollment in addition to a noteworthy increase in the number of new and returning students. Preliminary enrollment figures show 4,607 students enrolled, a 5.2 % increase from the previous fall’s final enrollment of 4,381.
“UHV has made major steps in developing our campus and programs, and that is reflected in our enrollment numbers,” UHV President Bob Glenn said. “It is encouraging to see this continued growth because it is an indication that our hard work is paying off, and students are taking notice.”
In addition to enrollment growth, the university has seen an increase in the number of credit hours. As of Wednesday, UHV students are taking 43,558 credit hours, a 6.5% increase from the previous fall’s final figures. All three academic schools saw increases in credit hours. The increase is especially encouraging because it will have a positive financial impact on the university, which will result in a better ability to serve the needs of the communities UHV serves, said Chance Glenn, UHV provost and vice president for academic affairs.
“The true power of a university is measured by how it positively impacts the surrounding community,” he said. “As our students take more credit hours, they help UHV gather more resources to leave a lasting effect on Victoria, Katy and the surrounding area.”
Recent growth has included the August opening of the University Commons student center and the University of Houston-Victoria at Katy and construction of a new residence hall and a Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics Building. A building also is being renovated at Airline Road and Laurent Street, and Ben Wilson Street in front of the Victoria campus soon will be improved.
In addition, UHV has 1,210 new students, a 5.7% increase compared with final fall 2018 figures. That includes a 46% increase in the number of new seniors and a 5.8% increase in the number of new freshmen. The school’s number of returning students also increased from the previous year to 3,397, a 5% increase from fall 2018.
“An increase in the number of new students is a reflection of the excitement felt on our campus every day as we work toward becoming a destination university,” Chance Glenn said. “That growth, combined with the increase in our returning students, shows that the university is not only reaching new students but is encouraging them to stay and finish their degrees at UHV.”
As enrollment and the number of credit hours has grown, the university has reached a new target in residence hall occupancy this year. As of Wednesday, 632 students were living on campus, a 98% occupancy rate – the highest ever in the UHV residence halls. UHV is constructing the new Don & Mona Smith Hall, an 82,000-square-foot residence hall with 280 beds, and plans to have it ready for students to move in by next fall.
“These occupancy numbers are encouraging as construction on the new residence hall continues,” said Jay Lambert, UHV vice president for student affairs. “Our residence halls are almost full, and even more rooms will be needed as our enrollment continues to grow. It’s a good problem to have, and Smith Hall should be ready just in time to meet that need.”
Jose Cantu, the former vice president for strategic partnerships at New Reach Media in San Antonio and vice president for enrollment services at Schreiner University in Kerrville, recently was hired as the UHV vice president for enrollment management. As he settles into his new role, he is excited to see the possibilities in UHV’s enrollment.
“UHV has experienced some good enrollment growth, and I’m looking forward to helping continue that success,” he said. “There are wonderful things happening at UHV.”
UHV opened in 1973 with about 350 students. The university first exceeded 3,000 students in fall 2008 and then crossed the 4,000-student mark in fall 2010.
Final fall enrollment figures will be released later in the semester after certification from the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board.