• Record retention rate leads to largest student body in Baylor history

    Baylor students

    Some universities take pride on how few students return after their freshman years. At Baylor, it’s quite the opposite — we take great pride in going to great lengths to help all our students learn to succeed so that as many as possible can go on to earn their diplomas and succeed in life.

    Recruiting an outstanding student body is part of that, as are efforts like the Paul L. Foster Success Center. But another important part of keeping students in school is helping them feel like they belong, that they are cared for — part of the Baylor family — and every student, professor and staff member plays a part in that.

    According to numbers released this week, Baylor’s retention rate — the percentage of last year’s freshmen who returned to BU this fall — increased again in 2012 to a record 86.6%, up from 85.4% in 2011 and 81.9% in 2010. That retention rate is a large part of why Baylor’s student body is also larger than ever before — topping out at 15,364 students this fall, including nearly 13,000 undergraduates and almost 2,500 graduate students.

    Other interesting numbers released yesterday:

    • Minority enrollment remains high at 33.4%, which means Baylor will likely remain the second most diverse school in the Big 12.
    • The freshman class’ academic qualifications are again high: 72% of this year’s freshmen were ranked in the top quarter of their high school classes, and the average SAT score is 1234.
    • In the new U.S. News rankings, Baylor comes in at No. 77, good for second among all Big 12 schools. BU has held its own in the rankings in recent years, placing between 75 and 80 each of the last five years among the approximately 300 national universities studied (essentially the top quarter).
    • Baylor ranked No. 49 in the country in U.S. News‘ High School Counselor Rankings, in which guidance counselors nationwide were asked which universities offer the best undergraduate education. BU came in second in the Big 12 and third in Texas.

    Sic ’em, Baylor students!

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