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ARLINGTON (CBSDFW.COM) – UT Arlington enrollment rose 6.1 percent to a record 37,008 Texas-based students this fall, up more than 2,100 students compared with fall 2014, according to preliminary census reports released Tuesday.

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College of Engineering enrollment exceeded 7,000 students this fall for the first time, a 16.4 percent increase compared with fall 2014. Enrollment in the College of Nursing and Health Innovation was up 15.9 percent, reflecting an expanded emphasis on the health sciences that spans traditional health care to muscular and cardio-vascular health research.

Enrollment in College of Education degree programs was up 5.6 percent, while enrollment in the School of Social Work rose 4.8 percent.

Overall graduate enrollment was up 14.7 percent.

The report follows another milepost: UTA awarded 10,541 degrees during the 2014-15 academic year. Of those graduates, 214 earned doctoral degrees. The counts show that the University has exceeded its enrollment target set by the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board “Closing the Gaps” program and far exceeded performance goals in critical needs areas such as computer science, engineering, math, physical science, and nursing.

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The University’s total enrollment including online students living out-of-state will increase throughout the year as new sections of degree programs begin. Last year, UT Arlington served more than 51,000 students in campus-based and online programs. Combined enrollment is expected to surpass 55,000 students by the end of the academic year. The University serves another 25,000 students through a wide variety of continuing education, professional training and career enhancement programs.

UT Arlington continues to rank fifth in the nation for undergraduate diversity, according to U.S. News and World Report. This fall, about 28 percent of undergraduates identify themselves as Hispanic. African-Americans make up about 16 percent undergraduates, while Asians account for 12 percent.

“UTA is the model urban research university, one focused on excellence and access for all students who are willing to work hard to achieve their dreams,” President Vistasp M. Karbhari said. “We are seeing incredible growth in academic and research programs that support sectors of the economy where college-educated employees are most in demand. Our growth is fueled by a rising reputation of excellence on the global stage built by faculty and staff and by innovative partnerships that are helping identify top scholars and ensure that new and transfer students arrive prepared to meet academic challenges head on and will succeed.”

Texas Sen. Kelly Hancock, R-North Richland Hills, applauded UTA’s record enrollment and said the growth of the North Texas region’s major, urban research university is essential to overall economic success. UTA is making significant strides toward helping meet the state’s goal of ensuring that 60 percent of the population has a college degree by 2030, he said.

“We are blessed to live in a community with thriving universities that contribute so much to the Texas economy,” Hancock said. “When UTA is serving 37,000 Texas students a year and awarding more than 10,000 degrees, businesses can count on a well-prepared workforce that is ready to meet the challenges of the future.”

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