Prairie View A&M University Welcomes Largest Freshman Class in University’s 140-year History
Prairie View A&M University will is poised to welcome the University’s largest freshman class – 9,036 students – in the fall semester. The milestone represents the culmination of a goal set last year by Dr. George C. Wright, President, Prairie View A&M University, to increase total enrollment.
“We have always had great academic programs and offered a unique college experience. We were confident that we could reach a higher enrollment number once we started to do more community outreach and starting telling potential students about all of the opportunities that we have to offer at Prairie View,” explained Dr. Wright.
Recruitment and Education Partnerships
Once the goal was set to increase the university’s enrollment, Provost and Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs, Dr. Felecia M. Nave, outlined a strategy that she believed was simple.
“Our Enrollment Management Team developed education partnerships with independent school districts throughout Houston and Dallas. High achieving seniors at our partner schools were given automatic admission and scholarships and students who met our admissions standards were given special admissions consideration. We basically targeted those students, made them offers that were difficult to refuse and turned PVAMU to one of the top choices for them to pursue their higher education goals,” said Dr. Nave.
According to Dr. Nave, the University will continue to partner with local school districts and is actively seeking to expand its education partnerships to community colleges.
With such phenomenal growth comes growing pains
Prairie View A&M University provides residential housing for more students than many four year, public institutions. So, while this phenomenal growth is wonderful for the university, it has caused an unprecedented increase in demand for university housing.
“University housing is completely full and we have an-ever growing waiting list. However, we have been trying to find ways to ensure that our new students are able to stay in housing that is close to campus. To that end, we have partnered with local apartment complexes to offer our students affordable housing rates. We have been talking to parents and students about other housing options. We will continue to work on this issue so that we can accommodate all of the students that we possibly can,” explained Fred Washington, Vice President for Auxiliary Services.
The University is also adding a new residential facility to its housing stock scheduled to open in the fall of 2017.
I know that this year there are growing pains but next year, we should be exactly where we want to be. Hopefully, we will surpass even this historic enrollment growth and welcome more students,” concluded Washington.