UH aims for 2014 applicant pool exceeding previous years


Though national freshmen enrollment is down 1.5 percent, this isn’t the case in Texas. UH expects a larger pool of applicants for Fall 2014.  |  Stewart Lyons/The Daily Cougar

In spite of declines in national enrollment, UH is one of the Texas universities expecting to see its number of student applications reach a new record for Fall 2014.

“We are ahead in our application numbers,” said Jeff Fuller, the director of student recruitment. “We have received more freshman undergraduate applications for the fall, and that’s a daily moving target. We expect to have an increase in applications, and we expect to admit roughly about the same number of students that we admitted last year with a little bit of an increase to adjust for that growth in applications as well.”

The slight growth would continue a pattern of annually rising applicant numbers for the past few years at UH. This trend belies the 1.5 percent national enrollment decline that was reported  in 2012-2013 by the National Student Clearinghouse. NSC cited decreasing numbers of high school graduates and adults re-entering the workforce as the key reasons for the decrease in higher education enrollment, which would explain why only select states are seeing increases in application numbers.

“A lot of universities are recruiting heavily in Texas, because we have a growth in students graduating from high school, and we’re a diverse state,” Fuller said. “It’s becoming increasingly more competitive for us to be amongst those institutions that students are looking at.”

To fight the competition, UH continues to improve its recruitment and marketing efforts and actively engage prospective students every year. Whether through marketing directly to the students or getting into contact with those who have expressed an interest either in UH or just college in general, the attempt is made to ensure that UH is in students’ mindsets when they’re applying to colleges, according to Fuller.

In addition, the University works diligently to get its name out to the public and have the many achievements of its students and faculty recognized. Doing so attracts not only talented students but also researchers and their research grants, world-renowned faculty, industry partnerships and private support as well, all of which promotes the growth of the University, Director of Media Relations Shawn Lindsey said.

“Our UH communications professionals are dedicated to advancing the reputation of UH by letting the public know what’s happening here,” Lindsey said. “In increasing numbers, high school students are becoming aware of our academic reputation as well as our value. Seeing the success of our students and graduates can be inspiring to potential students who recognize UH as a place where they too can get a great education and job upon graduation.”

However, as UH attracts more and more applicants, the competition for acceptance intensifies. Increases in applications lead to a stricter review process as the University attempts to admit candidates with the highest likelihood of success while also trying to meet its colleges’ enrollment goals.

“As we get more students applying, the competitiveness of the admissions process kicks in, because we’ll have more students competing for the same number of spots,” Fuller said. “Every year becomes increasingly more competitive, because we have a lot more students who are qualified for us to review and to admit.”

With Tuesday as the University’s freshman admissions deadline, the incoming applications will come to a close, and UH will soon know whether — and by how much — it was able to exceed the previous year’s number of applicants and reach its goal of a freshman applicant pool of record size.

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