ARLINGTON — In-state enrollment at the University of Texas at Arlington has reached a another record high, with 34,249 students taking classes this spring, up 459 from this time last year, according to preliminary figures.It is the third straight year that the university, which also reports that 3,652 out-of-state students are enrolled in online courses, has set an enrollment record. UT Arlington’s spring enrollment has exceeded its fall enrollment in recent years because of popular online programs in nursing and education that start throughout the year, spokeswoman Kristin Sullivan said.“Enrollment is really exceeding the state boundaries because of these vibrant online programs that are attracting students from outside the state,” she said. Growth this spring is largely attributed to enrollment increases of 768 students, or 19 percent, in the College of Engineering, 137 students, or 9.5 percent, in the School of Social Work and 302 students, or 3.8 percent, in the College of Nursing, UTA officials said.Enrollment numbers are based on 12th-class-day figures, which won’t be official until the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board verifies them. The university also reported a 16.1 percent increase in international students from 2,805 to 3,256. In August, The Chronicle of Higher Education listed UT Arlington as the nation’s seventh-fastest-growing public research university, noting a 58 percent increase in enrollment from fall 2001 to fall 2011.Meanwhile, Tarrant County College reported a slight increase in enrollment this spring, while the University of North Texas — which had a record high 36,221 students last fall — reported a slight drop this spring.UNT spokesman Buddy Price said that because many students graduate in December, including more than 3,000 this academic year, enrollment at UNT is typically lower in the spring.UNT’s preliminary enrollment this spring is three fewer students than the 33,715 enrolled a year ago, but credit hours are up by 2,000, Price said. “A lot of [students] are really focused on getting out of school, getting their degrees and joining the workforce,” he said.Tarrant County College’s spring student headcount of 46,917 is up 0.4 percent over last year’s enrollment of 46,750 on its five campuses.The Trinity River Campus in downtown Fort Worth continues to show the largest increase since opening its doors in fall 2009. Trinity River enrolled 8,798 students, a 7.6 percent increase over a year ago.Southeast Campus enrollment grew to 14,665, up 3.6 percent, but spring enrollment for other TCC campuses decreased slightly. “These figures do not represent enrollment of all spring semester offerings, which include two eight-week terms and other terms of varying lengths that accommodate the needs of today’s students for maximum scheduling flexibility,” TCC spokeswoman Rita L.B. Parson said in a news release.Texas Christian University considers its fall enrollment its official number for the year, spokeswoman Lisa Albert said. The current numbers are 8,640 undergraduates and 1,285 graduate students for a total of 9,925.
Monica S. Nagy, 817-390-7792 Twitter:@MonicaNagyFWST