White Student Enrollment in Texas Higher Ed is Down for the Third Straight Year

Sep 10, 2014

More people are attending public colleges and universities in Texas, but members of the Texas House Committee on Higher Education heard this week that the increases are not across all groups.

Susan Brown, the assistant commissioner of Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board for planning and accountability, told lawmakers on Tuesday that enrollment at Texas colleges is up by about 21,000 students right now, but enrollment among white students had declined for the third straight year.

"Which is really good -- last year they were up 7,000," Brown said. "Now, we do expect these numbers to drop slightly because students don’t pay, they don’t get their payment plan in, they get away from home and go ‘Oh my God, I don’t like this,’ and they come home."

African Americans make up 28 percent of the increase and Hispanics about 22 percent, whereas Asian student enrollment makes up 25 percent of the increase.

"Unfortunately the white enrollment dropped again," Brown told lawmakers. "This is three years in a row that overall white enrollment has declined."

She says that may be partially due to the white population in Texas getting older on average.

There is another decrease – and it’s at the University of Texas' flagship campus. UT-Austin wants to decrease the student body from the current 51,000 down to a more manageable 50,000 students.