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UST Breaks Enrollment Records with Largest Freshmen Incoming Class and Diverse Populations

UST Freshmen Class in Celt Lion Paw formationThe University of St. Thomas-Houston announces another record-breaking enrollment year. UST’s freshman incoming number tops 380, which is the largest such cohort in UST history.

“Despite the COVID pandemic, the Admissions team was able to lessen summer melt to a degree that aided in achieving this milestone,” Ryan Konkright, director of Undergraduate Admissions said.

UST Ranks High in Diversity

UST has more reasons to celebrate. St. Thomas reached new numbers in diverse populations for its incoming class, numbers that mirror the city of Houston’s diversity—figures that a lot of other colleges and universities can’t tout.

“We have clear incoming cohorts reflecting measurable ethnic diversity: Black/African American is 9.7%; Caucasian is 16%; Asian American Pacific Islander is 10.7% and Hispanic/Latino is 64%. International students are also part of this ratio but don’t always self-identify race.” Konkright said.

Rising Stars Work/Study Program Experiencing Exponential Growth

In addition, UST has grown exponentially in its Rising Stars program, which aided in undergraduate enrollment growth as well. The Rising Stars work/study program launched with five students in 2019 and rose to 45 students in 2020. This year more than 100 students are in this unique, one-of-a-kind program giving low-income students the opportunity for an excellent education and work experience at top companies in Houston.

UST Admissions Office Expands its Reach in Texas and South America

The Admissions team has begun implementing USTs new bold recruitment strategy, which focuses on proactive outreach as opposed to reactive outreach.

According to Konkright, “UST has taken a broader approach to recruitment and outreach so that over the next several cycles we will develop a presence in markets where we have historically been underrepresented. Our focus will be outside the Houston metropolitan area centering on San Antonio, North Texas, Austin/ Central Texas, El Paso and the Rio Grande Valley.

“In addition,” Konkright said, “we will begin expansion of our presence into central and South America to include: Honduras, El Salvador, Nicaragua, Costa Rica, Colombia and Peru where we will leverage our existing enrollment momentum to enhance our international recruitment as well.”

Looking at Recruiting Through New Lenses

The Admissions team is finding new ways to look at recruiting students. Konkright notes that “synergy between enrollment subunits is a new approach that has begun to take form in order to better serve our prospective students and families. This includes more dynamic admission counseling, financial aid counseling and a more robust summer transition experience for students joining the UST campus.”