Graduation, Student Retention, Diversity Rates Climb at UT Austin

UT Austin campus

AUSTIN, Texas — The four-year graduation rate at The University of Texas at Austin is now 57.7 percent — the highest on record and an increase of 2.6 percentage points from the previous year. More than 500 additional undergraduate students graduated on time this year when compared with five years ago.

The graduation rate has increased by 7.1 percentage points since 2011 when UT Austin made raising the four-year rate to 70 percent by 2017 a priority. These data are from a preliminary enrollment analysis that the university conducted after the 12th day of class on Sept. 11, as it does each fall.

“These new numbers are very positive. I am proud of the work our faculty and university leaders have done to keep UT students on track for four-year graduation — and proud of our students’ success. We will continue to work hard to help students graduate on time with a high-quality education,” said UT Austin President Gregory L. Fenves.

The freshman class of 2013, the first to fully participate in student success programming designed to help them stay in school and graduate on time, is showing significant progress toward meeting the 2017 goal of a 70 percent four-year graduation rate. The persistence rate for this class continuing after two years is 90.5 percent, the highest on record.

The new data also revealed another record, as the one-year persistence rate (for students returning after their freshman year) increased to 95.5 percent, compared with 93.2 percent in 2011.

The persistence rate represents the number of students who return to school. Improving persistence rates indicate that more students are successfully transitioning to college and returning for their second year, a key indicator that programs to help them are effective.

“Increasing our graduation and persistence rates is immensely important, and it is our responsibility to put the resources and support where our students need it most. It is encouraging to see these rates continue to move in the right direction," said David Laude, senior vice provost for enrollment and curriculum management.

Other findings include:

  • The university received 43,592 freshman applications this year, another UT Austin record, and enrolled a class of 7,746 students, an increase of 6.3 percent from last year.
  • Test scores remained high with an average SAT equivalent of 1305, demonstrating the competitive level of academics in admissions.
  • Among incoming freshmen, there are 1,710 Hispanic students. They represent 22.1 percent of the class, compared with 20.6 percent last year.
  • Among incoming freshmen, there are 406 African American students (those who identify themselves as “Black only” or “Black” and at least one other race). They make up 5.3 percent of the incoming class, compared with 4.2 percent last year.

The new data come as UT Austin continues its efforts to increase accessibility to college. Approximately a quarter of the incoming freshmen in 2014 will be the first in their families to earn their undergraduate degrees if they persist and graduate.

These preliminary enrollment numbers are prepared by the Office of Institutional Reporting, Research, and Information Systems (IRRIS) and the Office of Admissions Research at UT Austin. Final numbers will be published in October.