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UST Celebrates Largest Incoming First-Year Freshman Class in School History

UST smashes enrollment records for first-time freshmen class.University of St. Thomas-Houston shatters its undergraduate enrollment records welcoming close to  500 first-year freshmen in its fall 2022 incoming class, up almost 100 students from its last two record-breaking years. 

“UST emerged from the pandemic with a nearly 45% yield rate (admits to enrolled) due to innovative enrollment and financial aid strategies that we put in place,” Ryan Konkright, who served as Director of Admissions during this recruiting season, said. “We will leverage this momentum in the upcoming cycle to continue positioning UST front and center!” The national average for private schools is 20-22%. 

This dynamic growth began with a vibrant new roadmap for the future — a strategic vision to align its mission to educate students in the Catholic intellectual tradition to be the best that they can be and to be the future leaders in their communities. UST is known for providing an affordable and accessible education that impacts lives and careers.

Helping boost enrollment numbers are student athletes. UST reintroduced sports on campus 12 years ago, and the number of sports offered continues to grow every year. In addition, innovative and bold admissions programs with low or free tuition were recently launched giving many more deserving, high-achieving high school students the opportunity to earn an excellent education.

"The University of St. Thomas has so many new students joining the UST family from all places and backgrounds," UST President Richard Ludwick said. "Between our student athletes, Rising Stars Internship Program, and a new group of students joining us through the St. Thomas Promise, our campus has never been more vibrant and diverse."

Student Athletes

In September 2022, UST became an official member of the NCAA DivIII in the Southern Collegiate Athletic Conference (SCAC). With 18 athletic sports, UST will welcome 300 student athletes in 2022. Also, UST is adding men's and women's swimming in 2023.

Rising Stars Internship Program

The innovative Rising Stars Internship Program offers qualified students the opportunity

to attend UST almost tuition-free plus gain valuable work experience at local corporations and non-profits. In fall 2022, UST welcomes a group of 185 first-generation and low socio-economic students from Cristo Rey and other local Houston high schools. The program began with five students in 2018.

Free Tuition: St. Thomas Promise

In May 2022, UST made its private Catholic liberal arts education more affordable and accessible by offering a tuition-free program called St. Thomas Promise. The offer is for first-time college students throughout Texas, giving them free tuition if their high school GPA is 3.4 or above and their parents make $40,000 or less annually. Students must complete the FAFSA form. More than 100 students accepted St. Thomas' offer to reap the rewards of this program.