UT marks record 60.9% graduation rate, on way to 70% goal

FILE - University of Texas Tower (KXAN File Photo)
FILE - University of Texas Tower (KXAN File Photo)

AUSTIN (KXAN) — Five years after making graduation rates a priority, the University of Texas at Austin says 60.9 percent of the class of 2016 earned their degrees in four years or less. That’s a 10 percent increase since 2011 and a 3 percent increase from last year.

UT’s goal is to raise the four-year graduation rate to 70 percent by 2017.

The preliminary enrollment report, conducted by the university after the 12th day of class each fall, provides the data on graduation rates. Final enrollment data is published in October.

“Making sure our students from all backgrounds graduate on time is critical to helping them achieve success and keeping down the costs of a college education,” UT President Gregory Fenves said.

“We are also increasing diversity on campus, especially in light of the successful case in the U.S. Supreme Court, and the university’s upcoming Diversity Action Plan will help us make progress with this important priority,” Fenves continued.

Among incoming freshmen, Hispanic student representation increased to 2,079 or 23.8 percent, compared to 22 percent last year. Overall, the university received 47,511 freshmen applications this year, an increase of 9 percent over last year. The African-American freshmen population has had a slight increase over last year, with 5.1 percent compared to 5 percent.

Maurie McInnis, executive vice president and provost at UT Austin, explained, “When students graduate on time, we know they enter the workforce better prepared, start earning income sooner and incur less debt. We’re going to stay fully focused to build on this momentum.”

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