ARLINGTON, Texas (CBSDFW.COM) – The University of Texas at Arlington said Thursday, it has enrolled its largest freshman class ever.

This milestone follows on the heels of UTA’s record number of total degree and certificate conferrals, and graduate degrees for the 2019-20 academic year, the university said in a news release.

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UTA said it has seen 3,820 freshmen enroll for the fall term, a 6.8% increase in first-time-in-college students.

This, against the backdrop of the COVID-19 pandemic.

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UTA said it quickly adapted through enhanced safety protocols and an increased emphasis on distance learning.

Overall enrollment is estimated at 42,733, which represents a decrease of 0.3% from fall 2019 based on preliminary data.

Interim President Teik C. Lim said the freshmen are attracted to UTA’s faculty, expertise in e-learning, growing research enterprise and commitment to expanding access to higher education.

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UT Arlington tower (credit: UT Arlington)

“Despite the uncertainties of recent months, UTA continues to attract first-rate students from Texas and beyond who witness the research and academic excellence of our incredible students, faculty and staff, and the invaluable commitment of our alumni and community partners,” Lim said. “All of our work centers on our students, who are prepared to shape the world with their ideas, innovation and spirit.”