Baylor move in

Baylor University students help incoming freshmen move into Collins Hall last month. Baylor is down three spots, to 78th, in U.S. News and World Report's annual college rankings.

Baylor University slipped three spots, from 75th to 78th, in the annual college ranking compiled by U.S. News & World Report.

Baylor fell from 71st to 75th at this time last year. For this year’s edition, U.S. News adjusted its formula to give more weight to graduation rates among students receiving federal Pell Grants.

Faculty resources, expert opinion, financial resources, student excellence and alumni giving are also factors in the rankings.

“Baylor University has a distinct and compelling academic mission, as we integrate teaching and research excellence with an uncompromising Christian faith that has a transformative impact on our students, higher education and the world,” President Linda Livingstone said in a statement.

Baylor remains at fifth in the state of Texas and second in the Big 12 Conference.

Rice University is ranked 16th as the top Texas school. The University of Texas at Austin is 49th, Southern Methodist University is 59th, Texas A&M University is 66th, Texas Christian University is 80th, The University of Texas at Dallas is 129th, University of Houston is 171st and Texas Tech University is 187th.

Last week, the university announced 40 percent of incoming freshman graduated in the top 10 percent of their high school class, one of the highest rates in school history. Freshman minority enrollment is 36.5 percent, and freshman out-of-state enrollment reached a record 38.6 percent.

Retention among undergraduates from fall of 2017 to this year increased to 91.6 percent, the highest ever, the university announced. Baylor’s total enrollment now sits at 17,217 students, with 14,188 undergraduates and 3,029 graduate and professional students.

Livingstone has set a plan to propel Baylor to the highest level of academic research, which would require massive fundraising campaigns and increases to the graduate student population over the next several years.

Phillip Ericksen joined the Tribune-Herald in March 2015 as a sports copy editor. That November, he joined the news team. He has covered higher education, city hall, politics and crime.

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