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 . Despite the challenges posed by COVID-19, Baylor celebrated an all-time high of 90.7% in 2020, up from 88.4% in 2019. This increase places the university ahead of schedule for attaining the Illuminate target of 91.0% by 2024.

  Threshold Actual (2020) Target (2024) 6-Year Trend
2019 First-Year Cohort 88.4% 90.7% 91.0%

Graduation Rates

Graduation rates demonstrate the percentage of students that are able to 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, from 60.1% in 2015 to 68.2% in 2019. The current 2020 rate of 68.1% almost matched last year’s historic high of 68.2%, which is remarkable considering the many hurdles students faced during COVID-19. Baylor remains on track to achieve its 70% target by 2024.
Four-Year Graduation Rate
  Threshold Actual (2020) Target (2024) 6-Year Trend
2016 First-Year Cohort 60.1% 68.1% 70.0%

The six-year graduation rate has increased steadily over the past several years. Although in 2019, the six-year graduation rate dropped slightly to 78.1%, in 2020 the six-year graduation rate was a record 79.3% (and this despite the challenges of COVID-19). This continues Baylor’s progress toward the Illuminate strategic goal of attaining 82% by 2024.

Six-Year Graduation Rate
  Threshold Actual (2020) Target (2024) 6-Year Trend
2014 First-Year Cohort 70.4% 79.3% 82.0%

Undergraduate Placement Rate

Undergraduate placement rates demonstrate the successful transition of graduates into their careers or graduate school. Although many universities calculate rates six months after graduation, Baylor calculates its placement rate three months after graduation. Between 2012 and 2016, Baylor's placement rate increased dramatically from 66% to 86%. In 2020, the placement rate of 76% was the lowest since 2012, but this is likely due to employment challenges related to COVID-19. The strategic target for 2024 is 90%.

  Threshold Actual (2020) Target (2024) 6-Year Trend
2019 Placement Rate 77.5% 76.9% 90.0%

*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.

Office of
Institutional Effectiveness

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