Baylor Achieves Numerous Milestones in Fall Enrollment, Diversity, Across-the-Board Retention

Sept. 17, 2014

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Contact: Lori Fogleman, 254-710-6275

WACO, Texas (Sept. 17, 2014) – Coming on the heels of its rise among top national universities in the latest U.S. News & World Report rankings, Baylor University topped milestones for freshman, undergraduate and overall enrollment and achieved all-time highs across the board for fall-to-fall retention numbers, according to statistics released today by Baylor’s Office of Institutional Research and Testing.

The official numbers for Baylor’s 2014 fall enrollment:

• Record total of 16,263 students, surpassing last fall’s enrollment record of 15,616 students.

• Record undergraduate enrollment of 13,859 students, up from 13,292 students in fall 2013.

• Record diversity among the Baylor student body, with overall minority enrollment up to 34.3 percent in fall 2014 from 33.9 percent in fall 2013.

• A graduate enrollment of 2,404 students in the Graduate School and professional programs, including Baylor Law School, George W. Truett Theological Seminary, Baylor School of Social Work and in Baylor/U.S. Army affiliated degree programs.

A record-shattering class of high-achieving freshmen also has enrolled at Baylor this fall. Among the highlights:

• The record freshman enrollment of 3,625 first-year students surpassed Baylor’s previous record of 3,259 freshmen, set in fall 2010.

• Diversity among first-year students remains strong with minority enrollment among Baylor’s freshman class increasing to 35 percent in fall 2014, up from 34.3 percent in fall 2013.

• Out-of-state freshman enrollment increased to 30 percent in fall 2014, up from 29.3 percent in fall 2013.

• The entering class averaged 1231 on the SAT and 27.1 on the ACT, both increases over last year.

The fall enrollment report also showed that fall-to-fall retention among Baylor freshmen improved for the fifth straight year.

The retention rate among Baylor’s first-time freshmen from fall 2013 to fall 2014 increased to a record 88.5 percent. Previous gains in freshman retention have been 88.2 percent from fall 2012 to fall 2013, 86.6 percent from fall 2011 to fall 2012, 85.4 percent from fall 2010 to fall 2011 and 81.9 percent from fall 2009 to 2010.

In addition, the retention rate among all Baylor undergraduates from fall 2013 to fall 2014 increased to 90.4 percent from 89.7 percent, while fall-to-fall retention for new transfer students rose to 81.5 percent from 74.7 percent.

Sinda K. Vanderpool, Ph.D., Baylor’s associate vice provost for academic enrollment management, said the new retention numbers across the board for freshmen, undergraduates and transfers are at all-time highs.

“This steady progress is a clear sign that our campus community is invested in the success of every Baylor student,” Vanderpool said. “We have an ‘all hands on deck’ approach at Baylor where we in Baylor community – from those who work in Admissions and Financial Aid to professionals in Student Life and the Paul L. Foster Success Center – rally together, holding up the belief that each and every student can thrive at Baylor.

“And, if you ask a Baylor student, they will invariably point to a personal connection with a faculty member that has made that difference for them. Simply put, retention is a by-product of students making connections, engaging with their learning and investing in their own success,” she added.

The enrollment report follows the Sept. 9 release of the latest U.S. News rankings, in which Baylor moved up to No. 71 among National Universities, achieving the University’s best rating since U.S. News began ranking institutions beyond the top 50 in 2002. Baylor was ranked No. 75 by U.S. News in 2013.

Schools in the National Universities category offer a full range of undergraduate majors, plus master's and doctoral programs, and also are committed to producing groundbreaking research.

Among the highlights for Baylor in this year’s U.S. News ranking:

• Baylor is second-highest ranked university in the Big 12. The University of Texas at Austin is the highest at No. 53.

• Baylor is the fifth-highest ranked university in Texas. The top five are Rice (No. 19), UT (No. 53), SMU (No. 58), Texas A&M (No. 68) and Baylor (No. 71).

• Baylor jumped seven places to No. 45 in the U.S. • Baylor’s high school counselor score was 4.1, the University’s best since U.S. News began using the metric in 2010.

Other data highlights from Baylor’s latest U.S. News ranking:

• 42 percent of students in the top 10 percent of their high school class – highest since 2009.

• 51 percent of classes under 20 – highest since 2012.

• 86 percent freshman retention rate over a four-year period – highest since 2009.

• Baylor’s two-year average alumni giving rate of 15 percent – highest since 2011.

ABOUT BAYLOR UNIVERSITY

Baylor University is a private Christian university and a nationally ranked research institution, characterized as having "high research activity" by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching. The university provides a vibrant campus community for approximately 15,000 students by blending interdisciplinary research with an international reputation for educational excellence and a faculty commitment to teaching and scholarship. Chartered in 1845 by the Republic of Texas through the efforts of Baptist pioneers, Baylor is the oldest continually operating university in Texas. Located in Waco, Baylor welcomes students from all 50 states and more than 80 countries to study a broad range of degrees among its 11 nationally recognized academic divisions. Baylor sponsors 19 varsity athletic teams and is a founding member of the Big 12 Conference.

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