Quality and quantity

Record enrollment includes highest-achieving and largest freshman class

More and more first-year Mavericks resemble Jeff Hazelrigs academically. He ranked in the top 10 percent of his high school graduating class and received strong scholarship support to attend UT Arlington.

Jeff Hazelrigs UT Arlington freshmen

Jeff Hazelrigs’ high academic credentials reflect those of many UT Arlington freshmen.

Hazelrigs and more than 2,600 other students make up the largest and most accomplished freshman class in University history. The new undergraduates fueled a record fall enrollment of 28,085, a 12 percent increase over fall 2008. Gains are most prominent in the critical areas of nursing, education and science.

Of the 3,000-plus additional students, about a third are new to college, a third are students who continued at the University through increased retention efforts, and a third have become Mavericks by enrolling in new distance education and hybrid delivery programs.

“Students are choosing this university because they see an institution that is on the rise, one that is gaining momentum toward becoming a major national research institution,” President James D. Spaniolo says.

Among the factors driving UT Arlington’s growth are an enhanced academic advising process, new graduate-level fellowships and new online programs in the School of Nursing and the College of Education and Health Professions. Also contributing are increases in financial aid and scholarship programs, with financial aid awards up 38 percent compared to 2008-09 and scholarships up 58 percent.

Hazelrigs, a member of the National Honor Society at Mansfield High School and now president of Freshman Leaders on Campus, received the Outstanding Freshman Scholarship. It provides $6,000 per academic year with a potential $4,000 boost if Hazelrigs maintains a 3.5 grade-point average this year.

“I’m grateful to have the scholarship,” he says. “It has made the burden of paying for school significantly less straining on my family and me.”

Hazelrigs was among the 25 percent of this fall’s freshmen who ranked in the top 10 percent of their high school graduating class. With his academic credentials, he considered other schools before deciding on UT Arlington.

“The campus, the atmosphere and the friendly, helpful staff truly make me feel like I’m at a university that cares about its students. I made the right choice.”

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