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
James Madison University

Harrisonburg, VA

91%
Union University

Jackson, TN

91%
Elon University

Elon, NC

90%
Appalachian State University

Boone, NC

87%
University of North Carolina—​Wilmington

Wilmington, NC

86%
Georgia College & State University

Milledgeville, GA

85%
Samford University

Birmingham, AL

85%
University of Mary Washington

Fredericksburg, VA

84%
Christopher Newport University

Newport News, VA

83%
College of Charleston

Charleston, SC

83%

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