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
University of New Hampshire

Durham, NH

87%
University of South Carolina

Columbia, SC

87%
University of Tulsa

Tulsa, OK

87%
Brigham Young University—​Provo

Provo, UT

86%
DePaul University

Chicago, IL

86%
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%
Baylor University

Waco, TX

85%
Biola University

La Mirada, CA

85%
Missouri University of Science & Technology

Rolla, MO

85%
SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry

Syracuse, NY

85%
University at Albany—​SUNY

Albany, NY

85%
University of Alabama

Tuscaloosa, AL

85%
University of Cincinnati

Cincinnati, OH

85%
University of Iowa

Iowa City, IA

85%
University of Maryland—​Baltimore County

Baltimore, MD

85%
University of Missouri

Columbia, MO

85%
University of Oregon

Eugene, OR

85%
University of San Francisco

San Francisco, CA

85%
University of Tennessee

Knoxville, TN

85%
University of the Pacific

Stockton, CA

85%
Virginia Commonwealth University

Richmond, VA

85%
Colorado State University

Fort Collins, CO

84%
Drexel University

Philadelphia, PA

84%
Illinois State University

Normal, IL

84%
Louisiana State University—​Baton Rouge

Baton Rouge, LA

84%
Maryville University of St. Louis

St Louis, MO

84%
University of Colorado—​Boulder

Boulder, CO

84%
University of Nebraska—​Lincoln

Lincoln, NE

84%
University of Oklahoma

Norman, OK

84%
University of Texas—​Dallas

Richardson, TX

84%
Georgia State University

Atlanta, GA

83%
Michigan Technological University

Houghton, MI

83%
Oregon State University

Corvallis, OR

83%
St. John Fisher College

Rochester, NY

83%
University of Arkansas

Fayetteville, AR

83%
University of La Verne

La Verne, CA

83%
Washington State University

Pullman, WA

83%
Arizona State University

Tempe, AZ

82%
Florida International University

Miami, FL

82%
Howard University 1

Washington, DC

82%
Mississippi State University

Mississippi State, MS

82%

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