Enrollment at the University of Houston-Victoria this fall has increased, and more students are living in university residence halls than ever before.
Preliminary fall 2016 enrollment figures released Thursday show that 4,207 students are attending UHV, an increase of 55 students – or 1.3 percent – compared with the final fall 2015 enrollment total. UHV’s freshman enrollment grew 8 percent.
“It’s encouraging to see UHV attract and retain more students,” UHV President Vic Morgan said. “We’ve been in a transition mode as we consolidated our Greater Houston operations into one site in Katy and launched a new nursing program this fall. Even with those shifts, we were able to increase enrollment and continue building a destination university.”
A record number of students also are living in UHV’s three residence halls. A total of 609 beds are occupied, an increase of 4 percent from last year and 12 percent compared with fall 2014. The residence hall occupancy rate is nearly 95 percent. UHV’s fourth residence hall is slated to open in fall 2018.
“It’s evident we’ll be out of room soon in our residence halls,” Morgan said. “It’s a good problem to have because we are becoming a more residential campus. That has translated to a livelier environment and larger attendance at our events and activities.”
Enrollment in Victoria is up about 10 percent this fall, with almost 1,500 students attending face-to-face classes in Victoria, said Jay Lambert, UHV vice president for enrollment management and student affairs.
Students come to Victoria across Texas. UHV has recruiters stationed in several offices across the state.
“UHV is receiving more name recognition in Texas,” said Denee Thomas, UHV assistant vice president for enrollment management. “The increasing exposure helps more people learn that UHV offers a safe, affordable, quality education with lots of personal attention from faculty and staff, and many student support programs.”
The university also continues to make strides in retention. A total of 190 freshmen from 2015-2016 returned this fall. The retention rate was about 60 percent for the second straight year. UHV’s commitment to helping students succeed in the classroom and providing plenty of activities, organizations and events has helped retention, Lambert said.
Enrollment in UHV School of Education, Health Professions & Human Development climbed 10.6 percent from fall 2015 to fall 2016. The school added a Registered Nursing to Bachelor of Science in Nursing this fall to go along with recent additions of health studies and kinesiology bachelor’s degrees.
Fred Litton, dean of the education school, attributed the increase to targeted recruiting and diligence by the school’s faculty and staff.
“It also helped that we received several grants during the past that made it easier on our students by providing financial support,” Litton said.
In addition to having more students, UHV’s students are taking more courses. The number of total semester credit hours is nearly 39,000, a 2.1 percent jump from fall 2015.
UHV opened in 1973 with about 350 students. The university first exceeded 3,000 students in fall 2008 and then crossed over the 4,000-student mark in fall 2010. The growth has been especially strong since fall 2007. Enrollment has grown about 51 percent during the past nine years.
Final fall enrollment figures will be released later in the semester after certification from the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board.