Regents Authorize Increase in Tuition and Fees; University Announces Second Highest Overall Enrollment in Baylor's History

September 11, 2007

Media contact: Lori Fogleman, director of media communications, (254) 710-6275
In a Monday conference call, the Baylor University Board of Regents set tuition and fees for 2008-09, while the university announced official fall enrollment numbers - including the second highest overall enrollment in university history - that show a continued strong demand for a Baylor education.

Regents voted on Monday to increase tuition by 6.5 percent next year to $23,664 for 12 hours or more for the fall 2008 and spring 2009 academic year. The general student fee will increase 6.61 percent to $2,420 for next year. Room and board rates for undergraduates will increase by 5.99 percent and 2.75 percent, respectively.

In total, a freshman entering Baylor in fall 2008 will pay 6.09 percent more in tuition, fees, room and board than a freshman entering this year. Compared to other private institutions in Texas, Baylor's tuition and required fees remain slightly lower than those at most of the university's peer private institutions in the state and well below those of selected private universities outside of Texas.

Tuition for graduate students will increase by 6.59 percent. George W. Truett Theological Seminary students will experience a 6.43 percent increase. Law students in fall 2007 will see a 6.48 percent increase.

Baylor President John M. Lilley said the tuition increase will generate the essential resources necessary to support current operations, as well as new initiatives, including faculty hires, the improvement of campus facilities and funding of a variety of major strategic planning proposals approved this summer.

Lilley said Baylor continues its commitment to providing students the highest quality Christian education, while keeping the university affordable for families. Of incoming freshmen who qualified for need-based financial assistance, Baylor was able to address on average more than 50 percent of the students' need in direct scholarships. With financial aid packages that included federal loans and work-study, the university was able to meet on average more than 70 percent of these students' total financial need.

In the meantime, Baylor announced a fall enrollment of 14,174 students and the most academically qualified freshman class in University history, according to official 12th-day enrollment statistics compiled by the Office of Institutional Research and Testing.

Overall Baylor has enrolled 11,902 undergraduates; 1,291 graduate students; 413 in the School of Law; and a record-setting 402 students in Baylor's George W. Truett Theological Seminary.

At the U.S. Army Academy of Health Sciences in San Antonio, where Baylor has graduate programs in healthcare administration, physical therapy and nutrition, 161 students are enrolled. In addition, five students are enrolled in the doctor of science in physical therapy (DScPT) program at the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, another degree program operated jointly by Baylor and the U.S. Army.

Baylor's overall fall enrollment of 14,174 students is the second highest total in university history, behind 2001's record enrollment of 14,221 students.

Baylor also reported increased retention rates for students, one of the goals of Baylor 2012, the university's 10-year vision. The retention rate for all undergraduate students increased by nearly a percentage point from 87.1 percent in fall 2006 to 88 percent in fall 2007. Baylor also reported that the retention rate for first-year students jumped from 84.2 percent in fall 2006 to 85.6 percent in fall 2007, bringing the rate back up above 85 percent for the first time since 2001.

Diana Ramey, assistant vice president for enrollment management at Baylor, said that the university and a student success task force has worked diligently on retention, citing specifically several initiatives, including the creation of a free tutoring center available for all students, an enhanced early alert program for faculty referrals on students who may be struggling in the classroom, and the coordination of campus-wide advising processes and academic planning.

She also said that the recent move of all student academic services to the Paul L. Foster Success Center, as well as the robust expansion in Baylor's campus living and learning experiences, will help support improved retention in the future.

Baylor's 2007 freshman class enrollment of 2,732 students is down slightly from last year's freshman enrollment of 2,783 students. However, this year's class continued Baylor's upward trend for academic quality, with a record average SAT score of 1219, compared with last year's previous record of 1213. Since 1999, the average SAT score for Baylor freshmen has risen 50 points.

Forty percent of Baylor freshmen in this year's class graduated in the top 10 percent of their high school class, while 76 percent graduated in the top quartile of their high school class. In addition, Baylor's freshman class increased its diversity, with minority enrollment among its freshman rising from 24.1 percent in fall 2006 to 29 percent for fall 2007.

Baylor also had a record number of applications for the fall 2007 freshman class - 26,514 - compared to last year's total of 21,451 applications. Baylor's acceptance rate was 44 percent, up slightly from 42.4 percent in 2006. The university accepted 65.7 percent of applicants in 2005, while 72.4 percent were accepted in 2004.

With more than 400 students in its programs, Truett Seminary officials said are pleased with the record enrollment and the continued growth of the 13-year-old seminary on Baylor's campus.

Dr. David E. Garland, dean of Truett Seminary, said the next generation of ministers and missionaries are seeking out Truett for several reasons, including the seminary's emphasis on forming community in a residential academic program; strong scholarship program; distinctives such as intentional spiritual formation, mentoring (internships) and an outstanding education with outstanding professors; seminar-style classes with primary texts as solid preparation for ministry; and affirmation of all persons, male and female, for the ministry to which they believe God has called them.