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
Mercer University

Macon, GA

83%
University of North Florida

Jacksonville, FL

83%
The Citadel

Charleston, SC

82%
Rollins College

Winter Park, FL

82%
Belmont University

Nashville, TN

81%
Columbia International University

Columbia, SC

81%
Harding University

Searcy, AR

81%
Bellarmine University

Louisville, KY

80%
Longwood University

Farmville, VA

79%
Loyola University New Orleans

New Orleans, LA

78%

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