This fall, the Texas Woman’s University Office of Admissions reported an 8 percent increase in applications and a 6 percent increase in accepted students.
Beth Eppinger, assistant director for Housing Administrative Services, said that the demand for on-campus housing is as high as it has ever been.
“We had basically more applications than we had beds for this fall,” Eppinger said. “Right now, we are actually at 101 percent [capacity].”
Eppinger said that this level exceeds 100 percent because many single rooms in Guinn Hall and Stark Hall were converted into double rooms to meet the demand of students who applied to live on campus. Some resident assistant rooms temporarily became doubles, as well.
“[The temporary roommates] will be assigned to the first available space,” Eppinger said. “We have spaces that become available when we process… those who did not show up for move-in and students who are not enrolled.”
In the past, TWU has relocated students to a Holiday Inn for housing because of student overflow. The opening of the freshman residence hall Parliament Village, which houses 872 students, offered a solution to this issue in 2019. As TWU welcomes its largest freshman class this year, however, even Parliament Village met its capacity. Many first-years instead had to live in the towers, which typically house sophomores and juniors.
Mariana Floran, assistant director of admissions for undergraduate admissions, said that all student populations at the university have increased.
“We had our freshmen [increase] in not only applications, but enrollment,” Floran said. “Transfer students’ application numbers and enrollment have gone up as well, and that’s including graduate students.”
According to Floran, the answer to TWU’s rapid growth is physical expansion.
“We definitely need more staff in order to cater all these students,” Floran said. “We need to have more resources, staff availability and faculty availability. So, as we continue to grow, the campus has to grow itself.”
Eppinger added that a part of the university’s master plan, which seeks to “accommodate a 31 percent enrollment increase over the next 20 years,” is to create more student housing on the east side of campus.
“Our job at housing is to look [and say], OK, we barely got everybody in this fall,’” Eppinger said. “So we will be very much, in the next five years, be [asking] ‘Is it time to build? Do we have that right tipping point where if we do build, could we fill it?’ Because the last thing you want to do is build something, only to fill 25 percent of it. It is a multimillion-dollar investment. You don’t want to be wrong.”
Jocelyn Truong can be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.