AC, WTAMU look to increase enrollment after numbers drop due to COVID-19 pandemic

AC expects enrollment to increase this semester around five percent, and WTAMU hopes to increase overall enrollment by as much as 5,000 students in the future.
Published: Aug. 2, 2022 at 5:42 PM CDT|Updated: Aug. 2, 2022 at 6:26 PM CDT
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AMARILLO, Texas (KFDA) - Amarillo College and West Texas A&M University are emphasizing a return to enrollment in post-secondary education following a drop in numbers after the start of COVID-19.

WTAMU created a new position with Mike Knox as its new vice president of student enrollment.

Knox said WTAMU is looking to expand its student population, both online and offline, from 10,000 to 15,000. While he said it will be a lot of work, getting and keeping students enrolled in university benefits the Panhandle socially and economically.

“Enrolling students is a different game than it used to be,” Knox said. “We used to think about just high school students and that is certainly one of our core markets. But these days we need to serve online markets, older students, transfer students, graduate students.”

Knox said WTAMU has continued to grow its incoming freshman class, and emphasized the affordability of the university. He added Texas has struggled less with enrollment than most of the nation.

“The entire nation is struggling for students,” Knox said. “The good news is in Texas, we are still growing, so we’ve got opportunities to still remain strong and to grow — and it’s important that we do so, particularly in the Texas Panhandle.”

AC has seen some decline in its enrollment, but it is expecting to improve its numbers this year.

In a statement from AC, Bob Austin, AC’s Enrollment Management Vice President, wrote the college’s enrollment was essentially the same from 2020 to 2021, but he expects around a five percent increase in 2022 enrollment.

“While many community colleges across the nation experienced significant declines in enrollment during the pandemic, I believe Amarillo College more than held its own,” Austin wrote.

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