Tech has seen the number of students enrolled in
undergraduate programs fluctuate over the past few years due to several
reasons, including Tech President Dr. Dan Reneau’s 10-year plan to improve
Tech’s standing among quality universities.
The stricter academic standards for incoming freshman and
transfer students have had a direct, predicted result on the decreased amount
of undergraduate students on campus.
Superficially, lower enrollment numbers may seem less
appealing than the previous, greater amount.
However, in adapting the steps necessary to improve the
university’s prestige, the theme of “quality versus quantity” has come to mind.
The improved, “focused” academic state of Tech as a whole
can be attributed to Dr. Reneau’s efforts.
“[Last] year was the year of academics,” Reneau said.
“Seventy-five percent of the first time, full-time students were TOPS students.
That is in comparison to 67 percent of TOPS students [the 2003-2004 school]
These statistics correlate with the improved average composite
ACT score of last year, which was a 22.5, as well as the 85 percent of freshmen
who were on some form of scholarship.
The overall quality of the incoming freshman class has
improved due to increased selective admissions, which were implemented this
Applicants must have one of the following: an overall
2.50 grade point average on a 4.00 scale, ranking in the upper 25 percent of
the graduation class or obtain a 23 composite ACT or 1060 SAT V+M score.
Rising standards in enrollment will consequently result
in higher quality students, which is the end goal of the improvements Tech is
The positive changes are being noticed by others outside
of the Tech Family. The improvements have attracted students from South
Louisiana, who were compelled, due to the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, to
look to other universities to continue their collegiate education.
Originally, students from south Louisiana zip codes
comprised 17 percent of enrolled students at Tech. After Hurricane Katrina,
about 300 students have transferred here.
International programs have also taken advantage of the
more selective standards. Students who are of higher academic quality have
invested more in the curriculum and have in turn improved the value. Graduate
programs at Tech are also benefiting from the focused admissions. Already
prominent colleges are further perfecting their areas of excellence.
Undergraduate enrollment numbers may be more focused, but the morale and
prestige that makes up the university is better than ever.