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
Louisiana Tech University

Ruston, LA

76%
South Dakota State University

Brookings, SD

76%
St. Mary's University of Minnesota

Winona, MN

76%
University of Nevada—​Las Vegas

Las Vegas, NV

76%
Wayne State University

Detroit, MI

76%
Indiana University of Pennsylvania

Indiana, PA

75%
Jackson State University 1

Jackson, MS

75%
North Carolina A&T State University

Greensboro, NC

75%
University of Louisiana—​Lafayette

Lafayette, LA

75%
University of Missouri—​St. Louis

St. Louis, MO

75%
University of South Dakota

Vermillion, SD

75%
University of Southern Mississippi

Hattiesburg, MS

75%
Bowling Green State University

Bowling Green, OH

74%
Montana State University

Bozeman, MT

74%
Sam Houston State University

Huntsville, TX

74%
University of West Florida

Pensacola, FL

74%
University of Wyoming

Laramie, WY

74%
Western Michigan University

Kalamazoo, MI

74%
Northern Arizona University

Flagstaff, AZ

73%
Oakland University

Rochester, MI

73%
Regent University

Virginia Beach, VA

73%
Spalding University

Louisville, KY

73%
Trevecca Nazarene University

Nashville, TN

73%
University of Colorado—​Denver

Denver, CO

73%
University of Missouri—​Kansas City

Kansas City, MO

73%
University of Montana

Missoula, MT

73%
University of Nebraska—​Omaha

Omaha, NE

73%
University of Texas—​El Paso

El Paso, TX

73%
Ashland University 1

Ashland, OH

72%
Bowie State University

Bowie, MD

72%
Indiana University-​Purdue University—​Indianapolis

Indianapolis, IN

72%
Middle Tennessee State University

Murfreesboro, TN

72%
New Mexico State University

Las Cruces, NM

72%
Northern Illinois University

DeKalb, IL

72%
Portland State University

Portland, OR

72%
University of Wisconsin—​Milwaukee

Milwaukee, WI

72%
Utah State University

Logan, UT

72%
Widener University

Chester, PA

72%
Morgan State University

Baltimore, MD

71%
Texas Woman's University

Denton, TX

71%
Trinity International University

Deerfield, IL

71%
University of Texas—​Arlington

Arlington, TX

71%
Wichita State University

Wichita, KS

71%
East Tennessee State University

Johnson City, TN

70%
Nova Southeastern University

Ft. Lauderdale, FL

70%
University of Akron

Akron, OH

70%
University of Northern Colorado

Greeley, CO

69%
Cardinal Stritch University

Milwaukee, WI

68%
Texas A&M University—​Commerce

Commerce, TX

68%
Southern Illinois University—​Carbondale

Carbondale, IL

66%

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