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TEXARKANA, Texas — A record number of first-time students have enrolled at Texas A&M University-Texarkana for the fall semester. It is the largest freshman class since its downward expansion in 2010, when it first began accepting underclassman admissions.

The number of new, first time college students jumped from 217 in 2019 to 298 this semester — a 37% bump — while total enrollment rose to 2,214 from last year's 2,103.

"We are all very pleased with our enrollment numbers, particularly during such challenging times," said President Dr. Emily Cutrer. "We have an amazing admissions and recruitment team at TAMUT. They had to adapt and change their methods for recruiting and staying in touch with potential students because of the pandemic."

Dr. Cutrer also said the addition of new degree programs and facilities likely played a role in the increase as well.

"We have added two highly sought after degrees to our academic programs this fall," Cutrer said. "This fall we launched a bachelor's degree in mechanical engineering We've also launched a master's degree in social work, which has generated a great deal of interest as well."

University officials believe "great" customer service also plays a part in successfully recruiting new students.

"Our admissions team worked closely with other departments like Student Life, Student Success, and Financial Aid," said Toney Favors, assistant vice president for Admissions and Recruiting. "They were able to collaborate and come up with great ways to stay in contact with our potential students — even when they couldn't meet with them in person."

The fall semester is barely a week old, but TAMUT's admissions team is already recruiting the freshman class of 2021.

"We find ourselves shifting the way we do things almost daily, as new challenges present themselves," said Natalie McGuire, coordinator of Dallas Recruitment. "All recruiting visits and college fairs are now online, because most schools won't allow any outside visitors on campus this year. We're always learning to take advantage of new platforms and creative ways to stay in touch with prospective students and their counselors."

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