Freshman Retention Rate

National Universities

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
Tulane University

New Orleans, LA

90%
University of California—​Santa Cruz

Santa Cruz, CA

90%
University of Minnesota—​Twin Cities

Minneapolis, MN

90%
Clark University

Worcester, MA

89%
Colorado School of Mines

Golden, CO

89%
Fordham University

New York, NY

89%
Indiana University—​Bloomington

Bloomington, IN

89%
Marquette University

Milwaukee, WI

89%
Miami University—​Oxford

Oxford, OH

89%
Purdue University—​West Lafayette

West Lafayette, IN

89%
Southern Methodist University

Dallas, TX

89%
Auburn University

Auburn University, AL

88%
Temple University

Philadelphia, PA

88%
University at Buffalo—​SUNY

Buffalo, NY

88%
University of Massachusetts—​Amherst

Amherst, MA

88%
University of San Diego

San Diego, CA

88%
University of South Florida

Tampa, FL

88%
University of St. Thomas

St. Paul, MN

88%
Clarkson University

Potsdam, NY

87%
Duquesne University

Pittsburgh, PA

87%
Texas Christian University

Fort Worth, TX

87%
University of California—​Riverside

Riverside, CA

87%
University of Central Florida

Orlando, FL

87%
University of Dayton

Dayton, OH

87%
University of Denver

Denver, CO

87%

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