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Texas A&M-Kingsville sees positive enrollment, research gains for Fall 2023

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Photo of the large banners outside of the Jernigan Library that spell out TAMUK.

Texas A&M University-Kingsville recorded a nearly 8 percent increase in fall enrollment—marking the first positive total enrollment in 7 years.

KINGSVILLE (September 20, 2023) — After re-doubling efforts to serve the University’s surrounding communities, Texas A&M University-Kingsville recorded a nearly 8 percent increase in fall enrollment—marking the first positive total enrollment in 7 years. More than 45% of currently enrolled students hail from the 13-county region surrounding the University, a 78% increase over the last two years.

Other fall enrollment highlights include:

  • A 10% increase in first-time-in-college students
  • An 8% increase in graduate enrollment
  • A more than 22% increase in doctoral enrollment

The total enrollment gains come on the heels of a record-breaking year for research at Javelina Nation. Propelled by a 277% increase in grants and awards, TAMUK scholars and researchers secured nearly $68M in external funding in FY 23. The increase includes the two largest grants in University history—a $20M grant from the USDA to create a pathway for students from the region to enter into the federal food, agricultural, natural resources and human sciences sectors and a $12M U.S. Fish and Wildlife grant to fund the protection and recovery of the endangered ocelot.

“Record research funding and robust enrollment gains are positive signs that Texas A&M-Kingsville is continuing our legacy of making a profoundly positive impact in our community,” said University President Dr. Robert Vela. “Our University was among the very first to believe in the power of South Texas, and that remains a core tenant of our mission. We are proud that so many students from our backyard are choosing TAMUK and, in doing so, choosing excellence.”

For Dr. Vela, the obligation to ensure students succeed is a deeply personal one—a responsibility the three-time Javelina alum ties to the Power of One.

“Each student who decides to work toward a college degree is making an incredibly courageous and important decision that can change the trajectory of their lives and their families for generations to come,” Dr. Vela said. “Like Mr. Humberto Gonzalez, a member of the first graduating cohort from our institution in 1927 who chose excellence and invested in his future. Since then, generations of his descendants have earned degrees from our University. Just last year, we graduated one of his great-grandchildren, with another graduating this year. A Javelina education has changed lives in their family, and we are committed to extending that opportunity for success to all students well into our next century.”

First announced during Dr. Vela’s inauguration in November 2022, the Javelina Relight Program is one way the University is meeting that obligation. The program allows students who have paused their educational journey to return to campus and earn their bachelor’s degree. Javelina Relight has served more than 60 students since January 2023, with 15 graduating in August and another 27 expected to walk the stage in December.

“It takes the hard work and hearts of everyone in Javelina Nation to achieve these incredible milestones for the students, families, and communities in our backyard,” Dr. Vela said. “We have accomplished much together, and this is just the beginning—we can all celebrate these accomplishments with Javelina Pride.”

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