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13,937 students enrolled for fall

Sept. 17, 2003

By Marion Hixon, reporter

Enrollment at Baylor fell to just more than 13,900 students for fall 2003, with a larger freshman class than last year, as reported by the Office of the Registrar, which compiled official enrollment statistics.

Total university enrollment stands at 13,937, a drop of 222 students from the 14,159 students enrolled last fall. This school year 8,582 students returned to Baylor, 202 fewer than last year. Baylor officials cite several reasons for the change.

'The difference in the returning students can be attributed to last year's smaller freshman class and the larger than normal graduating classes in 2003,' said Dr. Tom Bohannon, assistant vice president and director of the office of information management and testing (IMTS). 'We also found that our retention rate among last year's freshman class increased to 84 percent, which is the second-largest freshman retention rate in the past six years.'

This year, the freshman class was the first group of students to enter the university under the flat-rate tuition plan. Freshman enrollment increased by 58 from last year to 2,678.

Out of total university enrollment, 11,712 are undergraduates, 1,291 are graduate students, 440 attend Baylor's School of Law and 379 students are enrolled at George W. Truett Theological Seminary, a record number for the school.

The total enrollment for the main campus in waco is 13,822. Separate Baylor campuses include the U.S. Army Academy of Health Sciences, located in San Antonio, which enrolled 112 students and the joint program between Baylor and the U.S. Army located at West Point that includes three students.

Although Baylor's official enrollment statistics are released annually on the 12th class day, the numbers were delayed three days as the university computer programs converted to the new Banner Information System.

'This decision was made by IMTS, in consultation with several other offices, to try and make the data compatible with census data from past years,' Bohannon said. 'From a research and reporting standpoint, it is essential that we have comparable data and after examining the enrollment data last week, it was determined that Sept. 12, 2003, would be our census date.'