As of Sept. 21, 2021, 40,666 students are enrolled in Texas Tech University, according to a news release from the university. This is 13th year Tech has surpassed its previous year enrollment numbers.
In a statement from the Office of the Provost at Tech, Provost Ronald Hendricks said the growth of the student population is a testament to Tech’s academic programs and the students' experience on campus.
“We’ve welcomed more students in our freshman class than ever before, and our increase in graduate student enrollment is reflective of Texas Tech’s growing research impact and competitive support for these programs. We can be particularly proud of our high-achieving freshman class, which boasts a record number of National Merit Finalists and Presidential Scholarship recipients,” the statement read. “This growth demonstrates a continued demand for a degree from Texas Tech and the commitment of our faculty and staff to help our students excel.”
According to a news release from Tech, the university experienced a new record enrollment number from first-year students, 6,677, and graduate students, 6,917. This is 2.5% larger than the 2020 first-year class, according to Tech, as well as the graduate enrollment being up by 4% percent this year.
This year’s first-year class includes 34 National Merit Finalists, 3,500 Presidential Scholars, 3,000 first-generation students and nearly 2,000 Pell Grant eligible students, according to Tech.
“The demand for a degree from Texas Tech has never been greater,” said Tech President Lawrence Schovanec in a statement. “Our consistent growth and the quality and demographics of our student body are testaments to the academic strength of our university, the success of our alumni and the power of the Texas Tech brand. We’ve always emphasized academic quality and access, and this year’s class reflects both of those priorities.”
Hispanic Serving Institute
Texas Tech was named as a Hispanic Serving Institute on Sept. 25, 2017, according to Tech’s Hispanic Serving Institute website, reporting that 27.8% of the student population within the university was full-time Hispanic undergraduate students.
According to the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board, an institution must have at least 25% of the student body classified as full-time undergraduate Hispanic students to be designated as an HSI.
“The designation represents more than Latinx or diverse student enrollment and represents how broadly provide our support for Latinx and other members of our diverse community," Carol Sumner said. "We continue to identify ways that we can increase the representation of Latinx members, not as a monolithic group, across our entire TTU community, support and engagement of our Latinx and diverse community, as well as the celebration of Latinx and diverse cultures at TTU.”
Sumner, chief diversity officer and vice president of Diversity, Equity & Inclusion at Tech, said the DEI is committed to funding student organizations and academic programs around campus as well as supporting faculty and staff in helping support the Hispanic Student population on campus.
The university's efforts to obtain HSI status were led by the RAISE Committee; however, Sumner said the committee is in the process of changing its name to the Texas Tech University Hispanic Serving Institution Committee, but the goals of the committee will continue to be the same.
“Ultimately, our goal is to better serve,” Sumner said. “The committee and sub-committees will help identify opportunities to strengthen our efforts and hopefully bring awareness both into the committee and across the campus community.”
With Tech’s record enrollment numbers, Sumner said the next step for DEI on campus is not only to recruit but also to retain students on campus.
“Some have come to see diversity work as only that for some groups or others, but it is for all,” Sumner said. “Everyone has a culture. We are complex people with so much to share, and our hope is that every day we each have opportunities to learn something new from another.”
Students may be united as being a part of the Red Raider community, Sumner said, but all students make an impact on the campus community through however they are involved on campus.
“Each of us came here through different paths and the same may apply as we spend time together here and as some of us move on,” Sumner said. “But while we are here, I would share that the beauty of being at a university, and particularly here at Tech is that we have a chance to hear other perspectives, meet people from other backgrounds, experience new things. Difference is a place to start a conversation and not see its end.”
COVID-19 may have complicated some things on campus, but Jamie Hansard said the university communicated its administration’s thoughts effectively to incoming students.
As vice president of enrollment management, Hansard said the university sent out 14.5 million emails and 150,000 text messages.
“We are very mindful about the resources that we have at Texas Tech, and we want to make sure that we can provide a consistent rate experience to all students,” Hansard said.
Currently, Tech is in talks about building a new residence hall on campus, Hansard said, but nothing is set in stone at this moment.
Now, Hansard said the university’s goal and the president’s goal is to grow the student population where it is needed, such as graduate student enrollment and regional/online enrollment.
“So now it's not so much about growing, it's more about shaping, right,” Hansard said. “If we're going to grow, where do we grow?”