SAN MARCOS, Texas (KXAN) — Texas State University welcomed its biggest freshman class in school history this year with almost 8,000 students arriving to San Marcos for their first semester. The growth is expected to continue in the future, and the university is making moves to ensure there is enough on-campus housing for first-year students.

University officials said on-campus housing is currently at 107% capacity with a total of 7,244 students checked into their spaces. The school faced a similar issue last year and had to make last-minute changes to the dorms, turning single rooms into doubles and double rooms into triples. This year, the school made that change earlier so there were no surprises for students arriving to school expecting a single room.

Almost 2,000 new beds coming to campus

The heart of campus is busy with construction as crews continue building the newest dormitory hall, Hilltop Halls. It is on schedule to open in the fall of 2024 and will have 1,006 beds strictly for freshmen students.

In the fall of 2025, there are plans to open the James Street Housing dormitory hall that will add about 900 more beds. The project is currently in the design phase. It too will only serve freshman students.

University president Kelly Damphousse said providing the ability for first-year students to live on campus is a key factor in student success.

“Living on campus is one of the key predictors for retaining our students for the first year, and ultimately graduating them,” Damphousse explained. “Our retention rate is right around 80 percent from first year to second year. We want that to be 85 percent.”

Texas State continues to grow

The university expects to break another freshman class record next year. The school is adding new academic programs which is enticing more students. Last year, the university added a mechanical engineering program.

Damphousse said this year the university added 11 new PhD programs for graduate students. The school is currently recognized as a R2 school. R2 is a status assigned to schools that have high research activity. Damphousse would like to see Texas State bump up to a R1 school. More PhD students at the university will help with that jump.

The satellite campus in Round Rock is also growing. There was an additional 500 students at the Round Rock campus when compared to last year, which is a 12% growth. Damphousse said there has been interest from students and staff at the campus to build on-campus housing. Right now there is no plan to build a dormitory at the Round Rock campus.