What is Retention Rate?

Retention rate is the percentage of a school’s first-time, first-year undergraduate students who continue at that school the next year. For example, a student who enrolled as a Freshman would continue in the Sophomore year.

Updated by Shubharthi Dey on 30th January 2019

What is Retention Rate?

The retention rate is a measure of the number of freshmen students that continue at the same school for their sophomore year of college the following year.

  • If it happens that a freshman opts out or transfer to another College it negatively impacts the former college's retention rate.

  • Most of the students and their parents take a keen look at the retention rate and the graduation rate before considering any college.

  • Both of this shows how good the student life is in the college and how much the college supports their academic and personal lives, and how well the tuition money has been spent.


Factors affecting Retention Rate

There are a handful of factors which affect the fall of the retention rate of a particular College/University. Although, as per the experts the factors are usually inter-related to each other, however, some of the key factors which contribute to the same are enlisted below:

Personal Issues

One of the most common explanations for attrition can be relating to health, finances, family, work and difficulty fitting in or making friends.

Reputation Of College

Students enrolled at prestigious universities tend to stay more in comparison to lesser ones. If we go by stats 50% is the retention rate of this lower end universities and 99% is the retention rate of the prestigious universities.

Budget

One more factor that adds to low retention rate is the budget. Many students enroll without thinking about the budget part as a reason they have to leave due to this.

Race

Low retention rate attributes to race too. Students who enroll themselves in prestigious universities tend to retain more than those at lesser schools, and Whites and Asians are disproportionately distributed at the top-tier universities. Blacks,             Native Americans, and Hispanics are more likely to enroll at lower-tier schools.

Source:- 2011 Noel-Levitz, Inc.


Types of retention rate

Now let's look into some of the different types of retention rates that are followed by the different 

  1. Normal Retention Rate:- The Normal Retention rate for year  (x) is the number of students who commenced a bachelor course in year(x) and failed to complete in year (x), and continuing in year (x+1) (retained students), as a proportion of all students who commenced a bachelor course in year(x) and failed to complete in year(x).

  2. New Normal Retention Rate:- The New normal Retention rate for year (x) is that the variety of scholars who commenced a bachelor course in year (x) and didn't complete in year (x) or year (x+1), and continued in year (x+1) (retained students), as a proportion of all students who commenced a bachelor course in year(x) and didn't complete in year(x) ) or year (x+1).

  3. Adjusted Retention Rate:- The Adjusted Retention rate for year (x) is that the range of scholars who commenced a bachelor course in year (x) and didn't complete in year (x), and continued in year (x+1) (retained students), as a proportion of all students who commenced a bachelor course in year (x) and didn't complete in year (x).

  4. New Adjusted Retention Rate:- The New Adjusted Retention rate for year (x) is that the variety of students who commenced a bachelor course in year (x) and didn't complete in year (x) or year (x+1), and continued in year (x+1) (retained students), as a proportion of all students who commenced a bachelor course in year (x) and didn't complete in year (x) or year (x+1).

                                                                   Source:https://me.me


Which Student Is Likely to Stay in School?

Now let's look into one of the important topics which will probably give us a fair idea about a student and his/her likelihood to continue in the same institution in the following year.

Following are some of the factors enlisted below:

  • Providing the facilities of the dorm room for the freshmen allows full integration and involvement of the student to the college life.

  • The cost of the education provided in the college and also whether it fits into the student's budget.

  • The engagement of the student to actively take part in extra-curricular activities and volunteer for the various activities held in the campus.

  • Willing to leave home and ready to have the "college experience."

  • To accept the fact that a college is a way beyond than getting placed in some company, it is a place where one grows and develop themselves to become a good human being and strive to better the society and community.


Conclusion

The factor that reduced the retention of any college may be many but the thing to consider is that most of the parents don’t prefer to send their children if the retention rate of the college is less than 75% and if the students who are coming back in sophomore year is less then it would also affect the graduation rate. Thus, reducing the overall rating of the college.


FAQ'S

  What are freshman retention rates and why do they matter?


Retention and graduation rates are important but should be taken in context. Public colleges are always observed to have a retention lower rates due to their mission. They have more students who drop out for economic reasons. But among comparable schools, a higher retention and graduation rate is a good sign.

  What other ratings apart from retention rate should I consider?


The student-to-faculty ratio is an indicator of how many students there are in relation to the number of faculty. A low ratio like 9:1 could mean smaller class sizes. You might also look at the percentage of classes that have a greater number of students.

  What is a Good Retention Rate?


According to these statistics, the median rate is 65.7, although more recent sources list it as high as 77 percent. Harvard’s rate is 95 percent.

  Does a low RetentionRate Translate to a Poor School?


No. It isn’t always the case that a low rate means a substandard institution.

  Which are the top 5 Universities/Colleges with highest retention rate?


The list goes as follows:

  • Duke University

  • University Of Michigan

  • Williams College

  • Harvard University

  • Harvey Mudd College