Freshman Retention Rate

Regional Universities (South)

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.

These rankings are split into 4 regions: North, South, Midwest and West.

School Average freshman retention rate
Nicholls State University

Thibodaux, LA

69%
Northwestern State University of Louisiana

Natchitoches, LA

69%
St. Leo University

Saint Leo, FL

69%
St. Thomas University

Miami Gardens, FL

69%
University of North Alabama

Florence, AL

69%
Valdosta State University

Valdosta, GA

69%
Columbus State University

Columbus, GA

68%
Jacksonville State University

Jacksonville, AL

68%
McNeese State University

Lake Charles, LA

68%
Palm Beach Atlantic University

West Palm Beach, FL

68%
Southeastern Louisiana University

Hammond, LA

68%
Thomas More College

Crestview Hills, KY

68%
University of Tennessee—​Chattanooga

Chattanooga, TN

68%
Campbellsville University

Campbellsville, KY

67%
Cumberland University

Lebanon, TN

67%
Francis Marion University

Florence, SC

67%
Lincoln Memorial University

Harrogate, TN

67%
Northern Kentucky University

Highland Heights, KY

67%
Pfeiffer University

Misenheimer, NC

67%
Shepherd University

Shepherdstown, WV

67%
University of North Carolina—​Pembroke

Pembroke, NC

67%
University of South Florida—​St. Petersburg

St. Petersburg, FL

67%
Eastern Kentucky University

Richmond, KY

66%
Georgia Southwestern State University

Americus, GA

66%
Mary Baldwin College

Staunton, VA

66%

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