How Happy Are the Freshmen?

This is an exciting and nerve wracking time of year for high school seniors as they contemplate getting acceptance packages in the mail.

Before making their final decisions, however, high schoolers should examine the freshmen retention rates of the colleges and universities remaining on their list.

They should be extremely leery if any of their favorites has experienced a mass exodus of freshmen.

New statistics show that the nationwide freshman retention rate at colleges, universities and community colleges across the country is at its lowest point since 1989. During the 2007-08 school year just 66% of freshmen returned to their original schools. You can see the results of annual freshmen retention rates survey that the ACT conducts here.

What are successful colleges and universities doing to keep their students coming back? They often offer these programs:

  • First-year freshmen programs such as learning communities and freshmen seminars.
  • Excellent academic advising programs.
  • Learning support services including tutoring and remedial help.

It’s easy to find freshman retention rate of any school by visiting the federal College Navigator.

Learn how to truly evaluate colleges and universities beyond the rankings by visiting my college blog, as well as reading The College Solution.

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