EL PASO, Texas (KTSM) – The University of Texas at El Paso says it has seen record enrollment for the Summer 2020 school year.

According to the university, 12,981 students enrolled in both Summer I and Summer II terms taking a total of 87,365 semester credit hours.

“Our students are determined to get an education and we will adapt to help them,” said Heather Wilson, President of UTEP.

UTEP officials said the summer semester was unlike any in the school’s history. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, all of UTEP’s summer courses were delivered remotely.

“Given the pandemic and all that is going on right now, we are thrilled that our students remain committed to continuing their education at UTEP,” said Vice President for Student Affairs Gary Edens, Ed.D. “These are not the easiest of times, but our faculty members, enrollment team, and support staff have really gone out of their way to make sure students feel connected, engaged, and valued. Their efforts have resulted in a record-breaking increase in summer enrollment.”

Despite the unprecedented circumstances, there was an 8.5% increase in the number of students taking classes and a 15.8% increase in total semester credit hours compared with the Summer 2019 enrollment. According to UTEP, this unequal increase indicates that students are taking larger course loads.

Officials said the most notable was the 61.5% increase among returning students or those who have returned to UTEP this summer to continue their studies after taking at least a semester off. Officials point to efforts made by staff and the remote delivery methods as two potential factors for this increase.

“While we did do extensive outreach, we recognize that online course delivery also increases accessibility for some students,” said Assistant Vice President for Enrollment Services Amanda Vasquez-Vicario, Ph.D. “We believe that these factors likely played a role in this summer’s increase in returning students.”