AUSTIN, Texas (KTSM) – The University of Texas System saw a record number of students enroll this fall, based on preliminary numbers provided by the Office of Institutional Research and Analysis.

A total of 244,276 students enrolled for the fall semester at all campuses representing a 0.5-percent increase in enrollment.

This record comes despite the fact that combined graduate and undergraduate enrollment across the entire country dropped 1.1-percent this fall.

“Everyone knows Texas is growing dramatically, and we need to educate many more students from this point on. UT System’s institutions are committed to meeting the need by recruiting and retaining more Texans,” said UT System Chancellor J.B. Milliken. “We are focused on recruiting across Texas from all backgrounds.”

UT Austin, the largest school out of the 13 that form the UT System, enrolled a record 52,384 students, beating the previous mark of 52,261 that was set back in 2002.

UT Permian Basin had the largest increase in enrollment on a percentage basis, jumping more than 10-percent this semester.

Officials say the increases can be attributed in part to programs that make attending school less of a financial burden for many students.

“One new tool providing us a great advantage is the Regents’ Promise Plus program, guaranteeing thousands more students with free tuition and mandatory fees,” said Chancellor Milliken. 

UTEP saw a record-high number of first-time students as well, with approximately 3,600 students taking college courses for the first time. UTEP’s entire freshman class, including transfers from other schools, totaled approximately 4,700 at the beginning of the fall semester.

These preliminary numbers, however, are still technically unofficial until they are certified by the Texas Higher Education Coordination Board.