Academics & Research

New Coogs choose fall over spring

Transfer students and freshmen, whether joining the campus in the Fall or Spring semesters, all have to attend the New Student Orientation.

A quarter of freshmen choose to start their college careers in the spring, said a report by Diverse: Issues in Higher Education, yet UH students have seemingly avoided this trend.

“In looking at previous spring semesters, we really don’t see many freshmen taking the fall off and starting in the spring,” said Jeff Fuller, director of Student Recruitment at UH.

“Typically, if they do, it’s because they missed our deadline or attended another college or university in the fall.”

Fall enrollment at UH has steadily increased in the last three years. According to statistics determined by the UH Office of Institutional Research, Fall 2009 enrollment stood at 37,000 students.

In Fall 2010, enrollment was at 38,752 students, and then it grew to 39,820 for Fall 2011. This past fall brought an enrollment of 40,747 students. In ten years, enrollment has risen by 6,000.

“On average we enroll 3,400 new freshmen and 3,800 to 4,000 new transfers in the fall. In the spring, we enroll on average 200 new freshman and 2,000 to 2,300 new transfer students, so fall is our bigger entering semester for new students,” Fuller said.

“Interest in the University of Houston continues to increase every year. With record application numbers each year, enrollment has increased in a way to meet the needs of students while also maintaining our strong academic profile of each entering class.”

Entering students find UH appealing and can’t wait to start their college career here, Fuller said.

“Students are choosing UH for a variety of reasons. TierOne recognition continues to attract students to UH because of our strong academic programs,” Fuller said.

“Additionally, more student life on campus continues to resonate well with students and families when choosing where to enroll.”

Students who choose spring can go through a level of anxiety since they may feel left out from their fall-starting classmates, Diverse said.

Just because some UH students may choose fall, it does not mean their college experience will be any different for those who prefer to start in spring, said English junior Patrick Alcala.

“I started going to UH in the spring of 2011 because I finished my (associate’s) degree in December 2010,” Alcala said.

“I didn’t really mind not going in the fall. The only thing that sucked about it was that it was cold on campus.”

Whatever the reason for deferment, UH encourages enrollment sooner rather than later.

“While we know every student admitted to UH can quickly find the right fit on our campus, students also may have additional life experiences that may prevent enrolling at UH right away,” Fuller said.

“We work with students and families to ensure that they find the right balance for educational success and life experiences.”

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