AMARILLO, TX - West Texas A&M University (WT) is seeing a big increase in students enrolled this semester, while Amarillo College (AC) is experiencing a decrease.
WT has 695 more students enrolled this semester than they did this time last year, due in large part to more graduate and out-of-state students.
That puts their total enrollment at 9,124 students.
"Much of our growth has come from a 25% increase in the College of Business," said Dan Garcia, Vice President of Enrollment Management for WT. "It's coming from online enrollments, from students coming to campus. WT is very attractive to international students. We've seen a lot of students from out-of-state come in."
Since 2007, WT has seen a stead growth in enrollment numbers and are working to accommodate the growing number of students.
"We've been hiring more and more faculty every year," said Garcia. "We're hiring more and more staff to handle the workload. Class size hasn't really changed much, if anything we're trying to get to smaller class sizes."
But while WT continues to grow, Amarillo College has fewer students enrolled than they did this time last year.
AC's enrollment number is down from 9,199 last year to 9,070 this spring.
Many adults came to take classes at AC during the last recession, but with people going back to work in Amarillo's current strong economy, AC has lost several older adult students.
But their current students are taking more credit hours than ever before.
"Growing head count is nice, but serving fewer students who are taking more credits is the best case scenario," said Bob Austin, Vice President of Student Affairs for AC. "We basically spend the same amount of money to serve a student who's taking three credits as we do a student who's taking 15."
Most high school graduates in the Amarillo area will start out at AC, and Austin said growth is great, but that it is not the school's goal.
"Completion ultimately is what it's all about, right? That's really what we should be measured on, whether or not students complete [their programs], not whether or not we enroll more students."