Latest enrollment report highlights increase in retention, diversity of student body
Baylor University has enrolled 15,364 students in fall 2012, the university's largest overall enrollment in its 167-year history, as well as another high-achieving and near-record freshman class, according to official 12th-day enrollment statistics compiled by the Office of Institutional Research and Testing.
Baylor's previous overall enrollment record was set last fall as 15,029 students attended the university. This is the second time enrollment at Baylor has topped 15,000 students.
Overall in fall 2012, Baylor has enrolled:
This fall, Baylor enrolled 3,254 high-achieving freshmen, only five off the record set in 2010. Last year's freshman class included 3,033 first-year students.
The academic quality of the freshmen class continued to be robust, with the entering class averaging 1234 on the SAT and 26.9 on the ACT. Seventy-two percent of Baylor freshmen were ranked in the top quartile of their high school classes.
Diversity among the entering class remains strong with minority enrollment among Baylor's freshman class at 34 percent, up from 32.5 percent last year and the fifth consecutive fall above 30 percent. Overall, the university's minority enrollment increased to 33.4 percent, up from 32.6 percent in 2011.
Twenty-six percent of the freshman class is from out of state.
In addition, the IRT report showed that the retention rate among Baylor's freshmen from fall 2011 to fall 2012 increased again to a record 86.6 percent, up from 85.4 percent in 2011 and 81.9 percent in 2010.
"To have experienced, for another year in a row, an increase of more than one percentage point in retention is outstanding, especially for a university of Baylor's size," said Dr. Sinda K. Vanderpool, assistant vice provost for academic enrollment management.
The enrollment report comes as Baylor was ranked No. 77 in the latest "Best Colleges" rankings released in September by U.S.News & World Report.
Baylor is the second-ranked university in the Big 12, behind only the University of Texas at Austin at No. 46. Baylor is the fifth-ranked university in Texas, behind Rice, UT-Austin, Texas A&M and SMU. Other Big 12 universities included TCU at No. 92, Iowa State and Oklahoma at No. 101, Kansas at No. 106, Oklahoma State and Kansas State at No. 139, and Texas Tech and West Virginia at No. 165.
U.S. News also gave high marks to Baylor's engineering and business undergraduate programs.
Baylor's engineering program continues to be highly ranked at No. 13 among universities with the "Best Undergraduate Engineering Programs." The category is for schools whose highest engineering degree offered is a bachelor's or master's degree. However, Baylor will soon begin offering a research-oriented Ph.D. in electrical and computer engineering.
Baylor's undergraduate business program in the Hankamer School of Business moved up 13 places in this year's U.S. News rankings to No. 56, and Baylor's entrepreneurship program is ranked 13th nationally.
Baylor also moved up to No. 49 in the High School Counselor Rankings, in which guidance counselors from a nationwide sampling of public high schools reported their thoughts on which institutions offer the best undergraduate education to their students.