The Impact of the Largest First-Year Class at Texas State University.

On Aug. 19, 2023, Texas State University welcomed 7,892 first-year students enrolled for the fall semester. This is the highest enrollment ever for the campus but with it comes changes.

First Year Enrollment Percentage by CB

“For the first time in our history, Texas State is the most-applied-to university through the ApplyTexas application, and that has resulted in a record number of new Bobcats enrolled this fall,” said Texas State President Kelly Damphousse from the Newsroom at Texas State.

“Our job now is to provide all of our students with the support and one-of-a-kind educational experience they need to achieve their dreams”, said Damphousse from the Newsroom at Texas State.

With admissions rates rising the admissions department is using different ideas to reach students and add to the campus. Dr. Gary Ray, the associate vice president for the enrollment management department role at Texas State University works to assist with continually improving the admission process.

They look to “improve processes and eliminate barriers” for students who are applying along with being admitted to the university said Ray. This department considers financial aid, housing, economy, and more for a student’s process of applying along with retention.

The outreach includes “Admission counselors that work in various regions of Texas … also traveling outside of Texas to various states”, to reach new students says Ray. “The applications have increased by 25% in from 2022”.

The interest in Texas State University stems not only from the geographic area but also from the research that it is involved in. Students often “search out professors in that area” of interest in the “academic quality” of the university says Ray.

Adriana Ellis, a senior at Texas State University and a digital and social media intern for the university has been attending the university for more than two years.  She has seen the found the growth of the newly admitted students changing the campus.

“It’s getting a little bit crowded”, said Ellis. “I walk around campus … there’s no way not to be in someone’s way. It’s a little scary”.

The freshman class contributed to the 38,873 overall enrollment the highest one in five years. That increase has affected the housing of the resident’s campus life.

Texas State University Enrollment by CB

“Their dorm experience has been taken from them because there aren’t enough dorms on campus”, says Ellis. “Some people have lived in hotels.”

Along with the increase in students Texas State University is improving the campus with $500 million in current and future investments.

Budget Pie Chart by CB

Currently, the Hilltop and Esperanza Halls are being construed as adding “affordable housing,” for Texas State University students says Ray.

Although these projects are projected to be completed in 2024.

Associate Professor of Practice Eraldo Chiecchi has been affected by the growing rates in a different way, class size.

“Our classes are capped at a max of 20 students or 19,” says Chiecchi. “The influx of freshmen has not affected the individual classes, but it has kept the enrollment steady “.

The College of Science and Engineering, liberal arts, and fine arts have shown the most growth as the top three enrolled colleges on campus.

Texas State University had another record broken with the enrollment of 951 international students in the fall of 2023. This was coming after the previous record of 721 in 2022.

Texas State University not only has a main campus in San Marcos, Texas but also another campus located in Round Rock, Texas. This campus also had an enrollment increase of 2.5%.

With the increase of students, colleges within the university adapt as needed. New staff are added to teach the enrolled students.

“If we are short professors, we hire professors on a part-time basis to help fill in some of the gaps,” says Chiecchi. “We are here and happy to teach them,”.

Assisting with the expansion of mind is also the expansion of roads in and around campus.

“I’ve noticed construction around campus,” says Chiecchi. “I drive over to Morris Street where the Haris Dinning Hall and there is construction”. He “follows the signs” to navigate the road that is the dining hall and gym on the university campus.

“There’s no way to get around it, “says Ellis. “Usually, you could take a two-minute route from mochas and javas to my house. Now it’s all gone.”, says Ellis.

The roads and buildings on campus continue to be improved. Texas State University continues to grow for current and future individuals interested in furthering their education.

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