Freshman Retention Rate

National Liberal Arts Colleges

As many as one in three first-year students doesn't make it back for sophomore year. The reasons run the gamut from family problems and loneliness to academic struggles and a lack of money. If schools you're considering have a low freshman retention rate, you'll want to ask the admissions office why. Some colleges do a great job of taking care of their freshmen; some don't. The retention rates shown below, from highest to lowest, are the average proportion of freshmen entering starting in fall 2008 through fall 2011 who returned to school the following fall.

School Average freshman retention rate
Amherst College

Amherst, MA

98%
Harvey Mudd College

Claremont, CA

98%
Pomona College

Claremont, CA

98%
Carleton College

Northfield, MN

97%
Davidson College

Davidson, NC

97%
Swarthmore College

Swarthmore, PA

97%
United States Naval Academy

Annapolis, MD

97%
Vassar College

Poughkeepsie, NY

97%
Williams College

Williamstown, MA

97%
Bowdoin College

Brunswick, ME

96%
Haverford College

Haverford, PA

96%
Hillsdale College

Hillsdale, MI

96%
Middlebury College

Middlebury, VT

96%
Wellesley College

Wellesley, MA

96%
Wesleyan University

Middletown, CT

96%
Wheaton College

Wheaton, IL

96%
Barnard College

New York, NY

95%
Claremont McKenna College

Claremont, CA

95%
Colby College

Waterville, ME

95%
Colgate University

Hamilton, NY

95%
College of the Holy Cross

Worcester, MA

95%
Colorado College

Colorado Springs, CO

95%
Hamilton College

Clinton, NY

95%
Lafayette College

Easton, PA

95%
Macalester College

St. Paul, MN

95%

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