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
George Mason University

Fairfax, VA

86%
Iowa State University

Ames, IA

86%
Loyola University Chicago

Chicago, IL

86%
Polytechnic Institute of New York University

Brooklyn, NY

86%
Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey—​Newark

Newark, NJ

86%
San Diego State University

San Diego, CA

86%
St. Louis University

St. Louis, MO

86%
University of Utah

Salt Lake City, UT

86%
University of Vermont

Burlington, VT

86%
Azusa Pacific University

Azusa, CA

85%

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