UT Austin is widely recognized as one of the top public research universities in the country, but an aspect that makes the university unique is the student population we serve. With a total university enrollment of 51,000, the undergraduate population is around 40,000. Of those students, almost 1 in 4 are the first in their families to attend a university, and more than 27% of undergraduates are Hispanic.
UT Austin is also unique in that 90% of the undergraduate population comes from Texas high schools. While the Hispanic community has long and historical roots in Texas, new census data now reports Hispanics to now be the largest demographic group in the state.
Fostering a Culture of Belonging and Support
Recognizing gaps in recruitment and support of underrepresented groups, the university made considerable investments to recruit, retain and graduate these students. Since that time, graduation and retention rates for underserved students rose considerably, particularly for Pell-eligible, first-generation, Black and Hispanic students. These improvements represent the results of improved student success programming, strategic use of data and analytics, and a culture shift across the campus by faculty, staff and students to foster belonging and community on campus.
Hispanic Serving Institution (HSI) Designation
In anticipation of crossing the 25% threshold to qualify for the Hispanic Serving Institution (HSI) designation, the university formed a campus-wide HSI Transition Committee to broadly engage the campus community. This group was charged to examine the framework used by Excelencia in Education for the designation, understand the implications for Title V grant eligibility and produce a report to guide leadership going forward.
The university crossed the 25% threshold in fall of 2020, qualifying the institution to be a HSI.
Seal of Excelencia
In 2020, UT Austin was also awarded the prestigious Seal of Excelencia. These recognitions represent a broad effort by the campus and UT community and help demonstrate the university is committed to providing high-quality education that values the Hispanic experience along with other student experiences.