Education Officials Are Disappointed With College Enrollment Figures - - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News


Education Officials Are Disappointed With College Enrollment Figures

Preliminary college enrollment figures are out and Texas education officials are not happy. They expected the report to reflect population increases, with greater enrollment numbers. However, it was not at the rate that they hoped. There are 19,000 more students attending college this year around the state, but that number falls short of the expectations.

Tyler Junior College is one of the schools dealing with a decrease. The number of students went from 9,529 students last fall to 9,439 this semester. "We were surprised a little bit at the numbers. They're a little bit off from last year," said Fred Peters, the marketing director at Tyler Junior College.

It's a different story at UT Tyler. "We exceeded our enrollment goal," says Rodney Mabery, the President of UT Tyler.  The school has 5,796 students, an increase of about 450 students this semester compared with last fall. And the university has several expansion projects in the works. "We're adding a residence hall. We're adding an engineering and science building," says Mabery. "We're excited about all the construction happening on the UT Tyler campus."

Another alarming figure, while enrollment is up for Hispanic students across Texas, it didn't quite reach the mark. Marlen Martinez, a student at UT Tyler says some Hispanic students have less options to fund their education. "I cannot get a scholarship here or financial aid because I wasn't born here. I don't have a social security number. I don't have anything here so I can't get any help from the state or federally," said Martinez. "My parents are paying for everything, so that's how I'm here."

However they get in the classroom, school officials across Texas hope it will continue, with even more students in the future.

Education officials could not pinpoint the exact reason for the disappointing numbers. They think an increase in tuition may have something to do with it.

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