The Tuesday after Labor Day is not only the first day of college for many students - but the first day in Tech history - for enrollment numbers to top out at more than 28,000 students.
More students hit the campus today than any day in it's 78 year existence and more are on the way. "We have 28,300 students registered and we anticipate that we'll hit a record 28,700 students by the final head count," says Vice President of Admissions, Stephanie Hays. That's an increase of 4% since last fall. And Tech officials say another record is the number of new students.
Hays says this year marks one of the largest enrollments of Freshman with more than 4400 welcomed to the campus today. "In addition to having record enrollment, record freshman class. We're also up in graduate as well which has been an initiation of the university," says Hays.
But many students say these record numbers come with a few growing pains. "The classes are packed, booked up," says Senior, Victor Garza.
Students say their first day back at school has been hectic. "I thought I was gonna do it like the previous years just roll in and sign up for classes at the last minute but then this time I'm getting into classes still," says Tech Senior, Ian Suber.
"I've tried to get extra classes but I looked around all of them are full. Hays says it's a problem the university has been gearing up for all summer long. They've made existing classes larger and added additional classes to meet the needs of students, but some will be forced to take a class at a time that's inconvenient for them.
"One of the things students are having to do is adjust to the fact of whether or not they wanted to take an 8 o'clock class so it may not be that they can't get a course it just may not be at the time they want," says Hays.
Despite a few problems concerning much larger classes, Tech officials say this record enrollment means one thing. "I think it's a sign of good things happening at Tech. When students want to come to tech it means we have good things going on. We're graduating our students. Our graduation rate continues to increase. We've got excellent academic programs and many things to offer to students in the state of Texas," says Hays.
Texas Tech officials expect final numbers close to 30,000 students. The precise student population will be calculated after the add-drop period which concludes at the end of this week.
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