Student Achievement

Student Achievement

Baylor University provides undergraduate students with a truly transformational education — one in which students develop their leadership potential, explore their faith and beliefs, increase their desire for wisdom, and prepare for service in a diverse and interconnected global society. 

As part of the Illuminate Academic Strategic Plan, Baylor has established goals for student achievement measures through the year 2024. The tables below represent the current status of student achievement and progress toward those institutional goals.   

First Year Retention Rate

A first-year to second-year retention rate is one of the best indicators of students' successful adjustment to university life. Over the past decade Baylor has climbed from 85.4% to 90.7% of freshman returning for their second year. The current year data demonstrates a decline from 90.7% in fall 2020 to 88.3% in fall 2021, which also falls just below the threshold value. A full year of COVID pandemic effects on student health and instructional delivery seem to be the primary reasons for this one-year decline. The expectation is that next year’s retention percentage will return to the prior trend of increasing rates toward the 2024 target of 91% retention.

  Threshold Actual (2021) Target (2024) 6-Year Trend
2020 First-Year Cohort 88.4% 88.3% 91.0%

Graduation Rates

Graduation rates demonstrate the percentage of students who complete their educational goals and to do so in a timely manner. Over the previous five years, Baylor’s four-year graduation rate has been steadily increasing. The 2021 four-year graduation rate was 69.6%, which is the highest recorded in Baylor’s history and ahead of schedule to achieve the 2024 target of 70.0%.

Four-Year Graduation Rate
  Threshold Actual (2021) Target (2024) 6-Year Trend
2017 First-Year Cohort 62.7% 69.6% 70.0%

The six-year graduation rate has also increased steadily over the past several years. The 2021 six-year graduation rate was 81.6%, which is also the highest in Baylor’s history and moving steadily toward the 2024 target of 82.0%.  

Six-Year Graduation Rate
  Threshold Actual (2021) Target (2024) 6-Year Trend
2015 First-Year Cohort 70.4% 79.3% 82.0%

Additional reports are available that disaggregate six-year graduation rates by gender, race/ethnicity, and financial aid categories and are available on the linked Student Right to Know webpage.

Undergraduate Placement Success Rate

Undergraduate placement rates demonstrate the successful transition of graduates into their careers or graduate school. Over the prior five years, placement rates ranged from 77.5 % to 86.5%. The 2021 placement rate of 87.5% exceeded the five-year high and keeps the university on track to reaching the 2024 target of 90.0%.

  Threshold Actual (2021) Target (2024) 6-Year Trend
2020-21 Exit Cohort 77.5% 87.5% 90.0%

Program specific placement rate reports are available on the linked on the linked Career Center Success Data webpage.

*Source: Retention and graduation data are from the Office of Institutional Research. Placement data is from the Career Center. The Placement data is based on the number of students who have been hired in full- or part-time jobs, enrolled in graduate school or the military, and are in full-time volunteer programs (e.g. Teach for America, Peace Corps).  Threshold values are based on the minimum value recorded in the previous five academic years.

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