Student Diversity, Freshman Retention Highlight Baylor's Fall Enrollment

September 18, 2013

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As University sets overall enrollment record, Baylor moves up to 75th in latest U.S. News rankings

WACO, Texas (Sept. 18, 2013) - Baylor University has enrolled the most diverse student body in the University's 168-year history and set another overall enrollment record, according to official 12th-day enrollment statistics compiled by the Office of Institutional Research and Testing. The fall enrollment report also shows fall-to-fall retention for last year's class of Baylor freshmen at its highest point ever.

The enrollment report comes as Baylor moved up to No. 75 in the latest "Best Colleges" rankings released Sept. 10 by U.S.News & World Report. The latest survey also included good news for Baylor's undergraduate business, entrepreneurship and engineering programs, which again were highly rated by U.S. News.

The official numbers for Baylor's 2013 fall overall enrollment:
• Record total of 15,616 students, surpassing last year's enrollment record of 15,364 students
• Record undergraduate enrollment of 13,292 students, up from 12,918 in 2012
• Record diversity among the Baylor student body, with overall minority enrollment at 33.9 percent in 2013, up from 33.4 percent in 2012
• Graduate enrollment of 2,324 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 class of 3,190 high-achieving freshmen is attending Baylor this fall. Among the highlights:
• The entering class averaged 1228 on the SAT and 26.8 on the ACT.
• Diversity among first-year students remains strong with minority enrollment among Baylor's freshman class at 34.3 percent, up from 34 percent in fall 2012 and 32.5 percent in 2011.
• Out-of-state freshman enrollment increased from 26 percent in 2012 to 29.3 percent in fall 2013.
• Baylor increased its enrollment among male freshman students, up to 42 percent in 2013 from 38.8 percent in fall 2012.

In addition, the IRT report showed that the retention rate among Baylor's first-time freshmen from fall 2012 to fall 2013 increased again to a record 88.2 percent, up from 86.6 percent in 2012, 85.4 percent in 2011 and 81.9 percent in 2010.

"It is very unusual for a university of Baylor's size to make such significant gains from year to year in freshman retention rates," said Sinda K. Vanderpool, Ph.D., assistant vice provost for academic enrollment management. "We have been able to make this progress because the faculty and staff campus wide believe that every Baylor student can successfully graduate."

Vanderpool attributes the continued increases in Baylor's fall-to-fall retention rate to several factors, including the recruitment of outstanding students from around the country, the deep involvement of faculty in the recruitment process and additional funding for merit scholarships. The University also added a MAP-Works, a new student success platform that has allowed Baylor to "intervene more proactively and intentionally with students who need the most support," Vanderpool said.

"MAP-Works provides staff with a better understanding of the factors, beyond academic performance, that impact new student success, such as motivation, financial stability and a sense of belonging," she said.

In the latest U.S. News rankings, Baylor at No. 75 is the second-ranked university in the Big 12, behind only the University of Texas at Austin at No. 52. Baylor is the fifth-ranked university in Texas, behind Rice University, UT-Austin, SMU and Texas A&M.

U.S. News also gave high marks to Baylor's engineering and business undergraduate programs.

Baylor's engineering program continues to be highly ranked at No. 13 among universities with the "Best Undergraduate Engineering Programs." The category is for schools whose highest engineering degree offered is a bachelor's or master's degree. However, Baylor will soon begin offering a research-oriented Ph.D. in electrical and computer engineering.

During the past decade, the School of Engineering and Computer Science at Baylor has added four master's degree programs and doubled the size of its faculty. The new doctoral program will provide a significant boost to the University's collaborative and interdisciplinary research base, as well as the level of externally generated research funding. This reflects the University's commitment to the Central Texas Technology and Research Park, and the park's first project, the Baylor Research and Innovation Collaborative (BRIC), in which Baylor electrical, computer and mechanical engineering faculty and staff are a significant research partner.

Baylor's undergraduate business program in the Hankamer School of Business is ranked No. 58, tied with 13 other universities. Baylor's entrepreneurship program - which was one of the first of its kind in the country - jumped from No. 13 to No. 11 among the nation's best entrepreneurship programs.

Baylor also came in at No. 52 in the U.S. News High School Counselor Rankings, in which guidance counselors from the top public high schools in the 2013 U.S. News Best High Schools rankings and the largest private independent schools nationwide, ranked the universities they think offer the best undergraduate education to their students.

The U.S. News rankings are available at

The U.S. News college rankings place each school into a category based on its mission as a research university or liberal arts college and gathers data from and about each school in up to 16 areas related to academic excellence. Each indicator is assigned a weight (expressed as a percentage) based on U.S. News' judgments about which measures of quality matter most and ranks schools based on their composite weighted score.

The data for the 2014 edition of Best Colleges were gathered in the spring and summer of 2013.


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.