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Fall Enrollment at The University of Texas at Austin Reflects Continuing Trend Toward More Diverse Student Population

Enrollment for the fall 2008 semester at The University of Texas at Austin, according to a preliminary analysis, reflects a continuing trend of slight increases in the number of Hispanic, African American and Asian American students.

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Enrollment for the fall 2008 semester at The University of Texas at Austin, according to a preliminary analysis, reflects a continuing trend of slight increases in the number of Hispanic, African American and Asian American students.

An enrollment report provided by Kristi Fisher, associate vice provost and director of the Office of Information Management and Analysis, shows enrollment for the semester to be 50,006 students, a decrease of 164 students (0.3 percent) from the fall 2007 semester. The 50,006 includes 37,406 undergraduates, 11,348 graduate students and 1,252 law students.

Fisher said the figures are based on 12th class day numbers. Final enrollment figures will be available in October, but there usually is little variation from the preliminary figures, she said.

The report shows the university’s population includes 27,234 white, 213 American Indian, 2,194 African American, 7,540 Asian American, 7,935 Hispanic and 4,539 foreign students. There are 351 students for whom ethnicity is not known.

Enrollment increased for Hispanic students by 129 (1.7 percent increase), African American students by 87 (4.1 percent), and Asian American students by 31 (0.4 percent). It decreased for white students by 410 (1.5 percent), American Indian students by one (0.5 percent) and foreign students by 10 (0.2 percent).

Proportional representation increased for Hispanic students to 15.9 percent this fall semester compared to 15.6 percent in fall 2007, for African American students to 4.4 percent from 4.2 percent and for Asian American students to 15.1 percent from 15.0 percent. The proportional representation for white students decreased to 54.5 percent from 55.1 percent, and remained unchanged for American Indian students (0.4 percent) and foreign students (9.1 percent). The figure for students for whom ethnicity is not known (0.7 percent) also is unchanged from last year.

About 81 percent of the entering freshman students from Texas high schools were admitted under HB 588 (Top 10 Percent Law), compared to 71 percent in fall 2007.

The number of first-time freshmen this fall semester totals 6,719 students, a decrease of 760 (10.2 percent) from the 7,479 last fall semester. The decrease, according to Dr. Bruce Walker, vice provost and director of admissions, was partly a planned reduction to accommodate students’ need for lab time while new facilities are built to replace a recently demolished lab building. The yield of incoming freshmen also was less this fall than had been projected.

The overall enrollment totals decreased for all ethnic groups of first-time freshmen. However, the proportional representation for first-time freshmen, according to the preliminary report, shifted slightly, with white and Hispanic students representing an increased percentage of the first-time freshman population and other ethnic/race categories representing a decreased percentage. The figures include white students 52.3 percent (an increase from the 51.3 percent last year), American Indian 0.3 percent (compared to 0.4 percent last year), African American 5.6 percent (compared to 5.8 percent), Asian American 18.6 percent (compared to 19.7 percent), Hispanic 19.9 percent (compared to 19.7 percent) and foreign 3.1 percent (compared to 3.2 percent last year). The figure for students whose ethnicity/race is unknown is 0.1 percent.

Four-year graduation rates increased from 50.9 percent to 52.5 percent, five-year graduation rates increased from 73.0 percent to 76.3 percent and six-year graduation rates increased from 77.4 percent to 77.9 percent.

For the second year, there was a slight decrease in the retention rate in the freshman to sophomore years (from 91.9 percent in fall 2006 to 90.8 percent in fall 2007). There also were decreases in sophomore to junior year retention (from 87.8 percent to 86.9 percent) and in junior to senior year retention (82.0 percent to 81.7 percent).

Undergraduate transfer enrollment decreased by 23 (-1.0 percent) to 2,228. This figure includes 600 transfer students who entered under the Coordinated Admission Program, compared to 634 in fall 2007.

Graduate enrollment (excluding law) decreased by 91 students (-0.8 percent) to 11,348. The number of new graduate students (fall and summer combined) decreased by 121 (-3.6 percent) to 3,225. Graduate continuing enrollment increased by six students (0.1 percent) and graduate re-entering enrollment increased by 24 students (14.1 percent).

School of Law enrollment decreased by 20 students (-1.6 percent) and new law school enrollment decreased by two students (-0.4 percent). There was a decrease in white law student enrollment (24 or -3.1 percent).

The report included college trends showing undergraduate enrollment increased for Communication (2.5 percent), Natural Sciences (0.5 percent), Liberal Arts (0.3 percent), Geosciences (9.1 percent), Architecture (3.2 percent) and Nursing (0.4 percent). Undergraduate enrollment in all other colleges decreased or remained stable. Graduate enrollment increased for Engineering (2.2 percent), Geosciences (14.7 percent), Public Affairs (6.2 percent), Architecture (5.3 percent) and Social Work (3.9 percent). Graduate enrollment in all other colleges decreased or remained stable.