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UTA: Class of First-Time Freshmen Not a White Majority

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This Fall Semester at The University of Texas at Austin
AUSTIN, Texas — For the first time in the history of The University of Texas at Austin, fewer than half of the fall semester's first-time freshmen are white students, according to a preliminary analysis.
 

The report, provided by Kristi Fisher, associate vice provost and director of the Office of Information Management and Analysis, shows the number of first-time freshmen who identified their ethnicity/race as "white" on admissions information total 47.6 percent. The university's overall total white student population, including graduate, Pharmacy Doctorate and law students, is 52.1 percent.
The figures reflect changes in the demographics of Texas. The Office of the State Demographer, Texas State Data Center, estimates the state's ethnicity in 2010 to be 45.1 percent Anglo (white), 38.8 percent Hispanic, 11.5 percent black and 4.6 percent other. The state's ethnic/race distribution by 2020 is projected to change to 37.6 percent Anglo (white), 45.2 percent Hispanic, 11.2 percent black and 6 percent other.
 

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.
Total enrollment at The University of Texas at Austin increased for the 2010 fall semester by 238 students (0.5 percent) from 50,995 last fall to 51,233 in fall 2010, according to the enrollment report, which uses new federally mandated ethnic and race reporting categories and provisions for students and employees to specify more than one race/ethnicity in identifying themselves.

The report shows undergraduate enrollment increased by 282 students (0.7 percent). Graduate enrollment (including Pharmacy Doctorate) decreased by 26 students (-0.2 percent) and law school enrollment by 18 students (-1.5 percent). The undergraduate one-year retention rate (91.7 percent) and six-year graduation rate (80.2 percent) remained relatively stable for fall 2010. There was an increase in the two-year retention rate, from 87 percent in 2009 to 88.5 percent in 2010.
Fisher said that starting this fall, ethnic/racial categories are being reported in accordance with newly implemented federal and state guidelines.

Reporting categories are consistent with those adopted by the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board (THECB) for the fall 2010 reporting cycle. Reporting changes include the introduction of two new race-reporting categories, "Native Hawaiian or Pacific Islander" and "Two or More." Students identifying themselves in more than one category with one being Hispanic are reported in the "Hispanic" category only, in accordance with federal guidelines. Students identifying themselves as black, or in more than one category with one being black (and not Hispanic), are reported in the "total black" category. All other students identifying themselves in more than one category (neither Hispanic nor black) are reported in the "Two or More" category. Information describing the process of adopting new race and ethnic categories for students, faculty and staff members was described in an Oct. 15, 2009 university press release that may be viewed online.

Based on this reporting system, a preliminary analysis shows first-time freshmen enrollment figures increased for Hispanic and total black ethnic/race groups, as well as for foreign students. The ethnic/racial distribution of fall 2010 first-time freshmen enrollment is as follows:
• The white only category is 47.6 percent (3,464 students) compared to 51.1 percent (3,700 students) in fall 2009.
• The Hispanic (any combination) category is 23.1 percent (1,680 students) compared to 20.8 percent (1,503 students) in fall 2009.
• The black total category is 5.1 percent (372 students) compared to 4.9 percent (354 students) in fall 2009.
• The Asian only category is 17.3 percent (1,260 students) compared to 19.6 percent (1,423 students) in fall 2009.
• The American Indian only category is 0.2 percent (15 students) compared to 0.4 percent (29 students) in 2009.
• The Native Hawaiian category is 0.1 percent (four students); this is a new reporting category for fall 2010.
• The two or more — not Hispanic or black — category is 2.6 percent (190 students); this is a new reporting category for fall 2010.
• The foreign student category is 3.9 percent (282 students) compared to 3.2 percent (230 students) in fall 2009.
• The "unknown" category is 0.1 percent (10 students) compared to 0.1 percent (four students) in fall 2009.

Fisher said her office compiles 10-year trends for ethnic/racial distributions of first-time freshmen (fall and summer combined). They show that since fall 2000, the proportional representation of Hispanic first-time freshmen has increased by 11.9 percent, total black freshmen by 1.8 percent and Asian freshmen by 4.9 percent. The proportional representation of white first-time freshmen has decreased by 12.8 percent, from 60.4 percent in fall 2000 to 47.6 percent in 2010.

Of the 14,583 first-time freshmen (fall and summer combined) offered admission for fall 2010, 7,275 (50 percent) enrolled. According to data provided by the Office of Admissions, 76 percent of all entering freshmen were automatically admitted under HB 588 (the Top 10 Percent Law). Of the entering freshmen from Texas high schools, 85 percent were admitted under HB 588.
The average ACT score for the entering class was 27 and the average Scholastic Aptitude Test composite score (mathematics, writing and critical reading) was 1819.

The preliminary analysis of graduate students shows enrollment (excluding law school) decreased by 26 students (-0.2 percent) to 11,589. Total law school enrollment decreased by 18 students (-1.5 percent) but new law enrollment increased by 10 students ((2.2 percent). The decrease in total law enrollment figures spans all ethnic groups.
Undergraduate enrollment increased for Undergraduate Studies by 801 (104.2 percent), Natural Sciences by 271 (3.1 percent), and Education by 201 (10.2 percent). Undergraduate enrollment in all other colleges decreased or remained stable, although a 793-student decrease in undergraduate enrollment in Liberal Arts was offset by a comparable increase in Undergraduate Studies.
Graduate enrollment increased for Engineering by 54 (2.7 percent), Geosciences by 27 (11.1 percent), Nursing by 17 (5.9 percent), Information by 15 (5.3 percent), Social Work by 7 (1.6 percent), Architecture by 6 (1.6 percent) and Public Affairs by 3 (1 percent). Graduate enrollment in all other colleges decreased or remained stable.

The university's total enrollment increased for the Hispanic and black ethnic groups. The ethnic/racial distribution of the total fall 2010 enrollment is as follows:
• The white only category is 52.1 percent (26,671 students) compared to 53.5 percent (27,263 students) in fall 2009. It reflects a 2.2 percent decrease in the number of white only students.
• The Hispanic (any combination) category is 17 percent (8,725 students) compared to 16.2 percent (8,265 students) in fall 2009. It reflects a 5.6 percent increase in the number of Hispanic students.
• The black total category is 4.5 percent (2,315 students) compared to 4.5 percent (2,276 students) in fall 2009. It reflects a 1.7 percent increase in the number of black total students.
• The Asian only category is 15.2 percent (7,794 students) compared to 15.5 percent (7,910 students) in fall 2009. It reflects a 1.5 percent decrease in the number of Asian only students.
• The American Indian only category is 0.4 percent (187 students) compared to 0.4 percent (215 students) in fall 2009. It reflects a 13.0 percent decrease in the number of American Indian only students.
• The Native Hawaiian only category is 0.0 percent (19 students); this is a new reporting category for fall 2010.
• The category for two or more ethnicities — not Hispanic or black — is 0.8 percent (394 students) this is a new reporting category for fall 2010.
• The foreign students category is 9.0 percent (4,635 students) compared to 9.1 percent (4,656 students) in fall 2009. It reflects a 0.5 percent decrease in the number of foreign students.
• The "unknown" category is 1.0 percent (493 students) compared to 0.8 percent (410 students) in fall 2009. It reflects a 20.2 percent increase in the number of students who listed ethnicity as unknown.

Fisher said this fall semester marks the implementation of new federally mandated ethnic and race reporting categories and provisions for students and employees to specify more than one race/ethnicity in identifying themselves. These changes were required of all colleges and universities, as well as primary and secondary schools throughout the United States, by the fall semester of 2010.

"To ensure that reported shifts in the ethnic/racial mix of our student population are not merely artifacts of these changes to reporting methodology, the Office of Information Management and Analysis has carefully analyzed the impact of these changes with respect to categorization of multi-racial students," Fisher said. "We performed six-year and 10-year regression analyses on the ethnic/racial percentage distribution trends of total and freshman enrollments and found the THECB reporting methodology to very closely follow the projected distributions for 2010. While we know of cases where, for example, black students identifying themselves as 'black and Hispanic' are now being reported as 'Hispanic' only, the upward trend in minority enrollment percentages holds true and is not significantly affected by the reporting changes."


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Nelson Propane

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