AUSTIN (KXAN) — The University of Texas at Austin says it expects graduation rates to remain steady, or even rise, in the coming years.

“Everything is tracking just how we would expect, so we don’t see any major problems or concerns there at this particular moment,” said Brian Dixon, vice provost of enrollment management at UT-Austin.

Since 2010, graduation rates for 4th year and 6th-year graduates have steadily increased. In 2021, 72% of students on a 4-year plan graduated on time. The six-year graduation rate rose to 87%, but it might be too soon to tell the full impact as UT will continue to monitor the numbers.

“So, if we are looking at a six-year graduation rate, we have to go back in time, which we haven’t seen enough of that yet to see what is that impact going to be over time,” said Dixon.

One indicator of continued success points to tracking retention rates says Dixon. In 2020, the university’s first-year undergraduate retention rate climbed to a record high of 96.%.

“Since COVID hit the school and the country it has been kind of crazy,” said UT senior, Charles Tiseo. “It has been a little nerve-wracking for me. I am going to graduate a semester later than I anticipated.”

While the pandemic might have delayed his expected graduation date, Tiseo plans on graduating next semester.

“We certainly have seen some delays with students,” said Dixon. “Despite COVID-19 setbacks, UT graduation rates are absolutely on the rise.”

Enrollment dropped when the pandemic first started in 2020 to about 50,400 but rebounded to almost 52,000 in 2021. UT will continue to monitor the graduation rates and enrollment numbers.