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
Tufts University

Medford, MA

96%
University of Florida

Gainesville, FL

96%
University of Michigan—​Ann Arbor

Ann Arbor, MI

96%
University of Rochester

Rochester, NY

96%
Vanderbilt University

Nashville, TN

96%
Boston College

Chestnut Hill, MA

95%
College of William and Mary

Williamsburg, VA

95%
Emory University

Atlanta, GA

95%
University of California—​San Diego

La Jolla, CA

95%
University of Wisconsin—​Madison

Madison, WI

95%
Worcester Polytechnic Institute

Worcester, MA

95%
Brandeis University

Waltham, MA

94%
Georgia Institute of Technology

Atlanta, GA

94%
Lehigh University

Bethlehem, PA

94%
Northeastern University

Boston, MA

94%
University of California—​Irvine

Irvine, CA

94%
University of Georgia

Athens, GA

94%
University of Illinois—​Urbana-​Champaign

Champaign, IL

94%
University of Maryland—​College Park

College Park, MD

94%
Wake Forest University

Winston-Salem, NC

94%
George Washington University

Washington, DC

93%
Illinois Institute of Technology

Chicago, IL

93%
Ohio State University—​Columbus

Columbus, OH

93%
University of Connecticut

Storrs, CT

93%
University of Washington

Seattle, WA

93%

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