Closing the Gaps: UT-Austin Hispanic Enrollment Up 47% Since 2000

In October 2000, the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board released Closing the Gaps, a plan to address education inequalities within the state, and between Texas and other states. This is the first in a four-part series analyzing UT-Austin’s progress toward reaching Closing the Gaps goals.

UT Enrollment by Ethnic or Racial Category

Since 2000, Hispanic enrollment at the University of Texas has increased by 47 percent, while African-American enrollment has increased over 46 percent in the same period. These numbers reflect progress at the state’s flagship university toward targets set within the first goal of Closing the Gaps.

Hispanic students, which comprise 33 percent of the collegiate population statewide, still only make up 17 percent of the UT student body. That is an increase from 2000, however, when Hispanic students made up just 11 percent of the student body.

The Closing the Gaps in Participation goal, to boost statewide college enrollment numbers by 630,000 students, set targets for white, African-American, and Hispanic populations to each be participating at a rate of 5.7 percent by 2015.

The participation rate is the percentage pursuing higher education out of the whole population.

Participation rate targets set for African American and white students have already been reached, but Hispanic students are lagging well below the trend line for their 2015 goal of adding 438,000 students. Over the past 10 years, Hispanic enrollment has increased statewide by more than 200,000 students, but the participation rate is still just 4.5 percent. UT has seen an increase of more than 2,800 Hispanic students over the past 10 years.

If each demographic subset reached the 5.7 percent participation rate by 2015, it would mean reaching the goal of adding 630,000 more students.

By fall 2010, approximately 486,000 more students were enrolled in higher education than when the program began, well above the 2010 trend-line target of 352,000. To meet the goal, 144,000 more students must enroll by 2015.

From fall 2000 until fall 2010, enrollment at UT has increased by 2.3 percent to 51,195, even though the THECB recommends that UT cap enrollment at 48,000 students.

Click the graph to see the ethnic/racial makeup of UT-Austin’s population since 2000. Source: UT’s Office of Information, Management, and Analysis.


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