By Wyatt Goolsby
It's the largest freshman class ever. Officials at the University of Texas of the Permian Basin announced a 26 percent increase in enrollment. On Tuesday, students and staff reacted to the news.
"There's people everywhere," said one UTPB freshman.
"Just, I can't believe how friendly people are," said another.
"We're still going and we're still growing stronger," added another first year student.
Some fresh faces on UTPB's campus Tuesday as the University announces a big increase in enrollment. Admissions said it's the seventh year the number of freshman has gone up. And for freshman, having over 3,500 students at the college came as a surprise.
"It's kind of overwhelming because you go to class here and you don't really see that many kids walking around but then in the morning when you're coming to class, all the cars, so you're like oh my gosh there's so many kids here learning the same things I am and the new opportunities that we have," explained Aleynna Gomez, a freshman at UTPB.
And there are lots of reasons UTPB officials said more students are coming.
"I think its affordability. When you compare the cost of our four year school, with other four year schools in the area and throughout the state of Texas, UTPB is less expensive than those schools. Then we also offer a lot of scholarship opportunities for freshman students as well," said Trey Wetendorf, the Director of Admissions.
"Yes, there's many opportunities. I know, for me, for once I'm going to have a scholarship and that they offer it here," said Gomez.
Chris Dunlop has benefited from the financial help. It's also why he came all the way from Australia to play basketball.
"Pretty much the scholarship situation, good campus, friendly, the coach was just so friendly, spoke to him over Myspace, and email and I felt pretty secure coming here," explained Dunlop.
But of all the reasons students chose UTPB, it's hard for many staff members to deny that a little PR has helped this year.
"Newsweek and US News and World Report, both of those major national news magazines recognize UTPB this past year as being an excellent institution of higher education," said Wetendorf.