AUSTIN, Texas—The proportional representation of African American, Hispanic and Asian American students increased for the fall 2004 semester at The University of Texas at Austin, according to a preliminary enrollment count by Maryann S. Ruddock, associate vice president and director of the university’s Office of Institutional Research.
Among the 6,796 entering freshmen, the proportional representation of students increased for African Americans to 4.5 percent (up from 4.1 percent last fall), Hispanics to 16.9 percent (16.3 percent), and Asian Americans to 17.9 percent (17.6 percent). The proportional representation for whites decreased to 58.6 percent from 59.3 percent in fall 2003, and for all other groups it remained stable or declined slightly, Ruddock said.
The number of entering freshman students, by ethnicity, includes 3,901 white, 1,149 Hispanic, 309 African American, 1,218 Asian American, 28 Native American and 191 others. Entering freshmen include those students who first enrolled in the summer and are continuing in the fall, as well as new fall entrants.
University-wide, the proportional representation increased for African Americans to 3.5 percent (from 3.4 percent in fall 2003), Hispanics to 13.3 percent (12.7 percent) and Asian Americans to 14.3 percent (14.1 percent). The proportional representation for whites decreased to 57.4 percent from 59.1 percent in fall 2003, and for all other groups it remained stable or declined slightly, Ruddock said.
The preliminary figures show that enrollment at The University of Texas at Austin dropped two percent, from 51,426 to 50,403 this fall. Because of the drop, The University of Texas at Austin may no longer be the nation’s largest single campus institution, a distinction it held since 1997.
The decreased enrollment was intentional. It was part of a plan proposed by a special Task Force on Enrollment Strategy that included increasing the size of the faculty and reducing the student population to 48,000 over the next five years. The university’s president, Dr. Larry R. Faulkner, endorsed the plan in May.
The task force, headed by Dr. Isabella Cunningham, chairwoman of the Department of Advertising, emphasized that the size of the student body must be driven by the university’s goal to be one of the top public universities in the nation and that quality of education must be the first priority. To preserve and enhance the quality of students’ educational experiences, the task force said, it was necessary for the university to reduce its student/faculty ratio, which is now about 21 to one. At institutions with which the university likes to compare itself, the ratio is about 19 to one, the task force said.
This fall’s enrollment includes 37,397 undergraduate, 11,539 graduate and 1,467 law students. The number of entering freshmen is 6,796, an increase from 6,544 last year. Undergraduate transfers have increased from 1,644 to 1,981. The number of undergraduate continuing students decreased from 29,279 in fall 2003 to 27,818 this fall. The fewer number translates into increased four- and six-year graduation rates. Four-year graduation rates increased from 41.7 percent to 45.6 percent, while six-year graduation rates increased from 70.5 percent to 74.3 percent.
Ruddock said these data are preliminary 12th class day numbers. Final figures for the 12th class day will be available in October, but there is usually little variation from the preliminary figures.
Of the 6,796 entering freshmen, 6,382 were graduates of Texas high schools. The percentage of graduates from Texas high schools entering under HB 588, better known as the Top 10 Percent Law, was 66 percent this fall, down from last year’s figure of 70.5 percent.
New graduate student enrollment declined this fall to 3,124, a decrease of 8.1 percent. For new graduate students, the proportional representation increased for African Americans to 2.7 percent (up from 2.2 percent), Asian Americans to 7.2 percent (6.9 percent) and whites to 57.4 percent (57.3 percent). Hispanic graduate student enrollment declined to 7.5 percent from 8.1 percent. The proportional representation for all other groups decreased or remained stable. This fall’s entering law class enrolled fewer students for all groups except American Indian and foreign students.
The numbers for graduate students include 6,266 white, 864 Hispanic, 278 African American, 697 Asian American, 37 Native American and 3,397 others.
For more information contact: Maryann Ruddock, Office of Institutional Research, 512-471-3833, or Robert D. Meckel, Office of Public Affairs, 512-475-7847.