Baylor Achieves Milestones in Fall Enrollment, Including Record Freshman Class, Undergraduate and Graduate/Professional Enrollment; Retention Rate at All-Time High

Baylor University achieved several enrollment milestones this fall, including enrolling the largest freshman class in the institution’s history.(Morty Ortega, Baylor Marketing & Communications)
Sept. 11, 2020

Media Contact: Eric Eckert, Baylor University Media and Public Relations, 254-710-1964
Follow us on Twitter: @BaylorUMedia

WACO, Texas (Sept. 11, 2020) – Despite the ongoing challenges presented by COVID-19 for universities throughout the country, Baylor University achieved several enrollment milestones this fall, including enrolling the largest freshman class in the institution’s history, along with record numbers of undergraduate and graduate and professional education students. Baylor's fall-to-fall undergraduate retention also increased to an all-time high, according to official 12th class day statistics from Baylor’s Office of Institutional Research and Testing.

“Even in the face of many unknowns and uncertainties due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the tremendous interest in a Baylor University education from prospective students and their families as well as from our continuing students never wavered," said Baylor President Linda A. Livingstone, Ph.D. “This is a true testament to the incredible efforts of hundreds of staff and faculty at Baylor. From Undergraduate Admissions to Undergraduate Programs and the Paul L. Foster Success Center to our Bear Care coaches and so many others, this team effort ensured that all of our students have access to a high-quality Christian education that prepares them for worldwide leadership and service by integrating academic excellence and Christian commitment within a caring community.”

In addition to maintaining its top academic quality, the fall 2020 freshman class of 3,731 students surpassed the previous largest first-year class of 3,625 students in fall 2014. This year's freshman class also is the University’s most diverse freshman class with minority enrollment increasing to 38% and out-of-state freshman enrollment rising to nearly 40%.

Overall, Baylor officially enrolled 19,297 students this fall, with undergraduate enrollment increasing to 14,399 students, although this number will continue to remain steady according to the University's strategic enrollment plans. Enrollment in Baylor's expanding graduate and professional programs rose 24% to 4,898 students. Included in that total are 2,010 students enrolled in Baylor’s various online graduate professional education programs.

In addition, Baylor’s overall student body is the most diverse ever at the University, with overall minority enrollment rising to 37.9% and out-of-state enrollment up to 38%.

Other preliminary statistics involved the University’s retention and graduation rates:

• The retention rate among all Baylor undergraduates from fall 2019 to fall 2020 jumped nearly 1 point to 92.5%, which remains the highest ever at the University.

• The four-year graduation rate among the fall 2016 cohort stood at 68.1%, while the six-year graduation rate for the fall 2014 cohort increased to 79.3%.


Baylor University is a private Christian University and a nationally ranked research institution. The University provides a vibrant campus community for more than 18,000 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 90 countries to study a broad range of degrees among its 12 nationally recognized academic divisions.

Looking for more news from Baylor University?