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University of Texas at Austin announces highest four-year graduation rate on record

More people are graduating from The University of Texas in just four years than ever before, according to new statistics.

AUSTIN — The University of Texas at Austin on Thursday announced new statistics indicating that more students are graduating in four years than ever before.

According to the university, the Class of 2018 set a record for its four-year graduation rate at 69.8 percent, which is up from 65.7 percent in 2017. That rate was the highest four-year graduation rate of any public university in Texas during the past academic year.

The record-breaking doesn't stop there. The university also introduced the largest incoming class in UT Austin's history: 8,960 first-time freshmen. The previous high was set at 8,719 in 2016.

The university stated that the increased freshman class size results in part from the improvement in graduation rates, as timely graduation allows for more space for new students. Since setting a goal in 2012 to increase the four-year graduation rate from 52 percent to 70, the university has been able to graduate more students each year and expand the incoming freshman class by more than 1,000 students.

“The hard work of our students is inspiring,” said President Gregory L. Fenves. “UT has been able to narrow gaps in completing a degree that have persisted for too long for low-income students and students of color. Giving students more opportunity to graduate while increasing the number of students UT educates exemplifies our core mission as a flagship university serving the people of Texas.”

Other findings from the UT report include:

  • UT’s six-year graduation rate is 82.8 percent, a decrease of 0.1 percent from 2017.
  • Total UT enrollment increased to 51,832, a 0.6 percent rise from 2017.
  • Hispanic undergraduate enrollment increased from 23.0 to 23.4 percent of the student body.
  • Undergraduate enrollment for black students (those who identify themselves as “Black only” or “Black - two or more, excluding Hispanic”) increased from 4.8 to 5.0 percent of the student body.
  • The percentage of black first-time freshmen stayed at 5.4 percent.
  • The percentage of Hispanic first-time freshmen decreased slightly, from 24.6 to 24.1 percent, and the number of Hispanic freshmen rose.