Freshman retention rate 17th highest, says study
- Yale University (CT)
- Swarthmore College (PA)
- Princeton University (NJ)
- Stanford University (CA)
- Williams College (MA)
- California Institute of Technology (CA)
- University of Chicago (IL)
- Harvard University (MA)
- Columbia University (NY)
- Dartmouth College (NH)
- University of Pennsylvania (PA)
- Notre Dame University (IN)
- U.S. Naval Academy (MD)
- Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MA)
- University of Virginia (VA)
- Hillsdale College (MI)
- Washington University, St. Louis (MO)
- Rice University (TX)
- Middlebury College (VT)
- Brown University (RI)
- Duke University (NC)
- Haverford College (PA)
- Carleton College (MN)
- Pomona College (CA)
- Davidson College (NC)
* Center for College Affordability and Productivity
For the most part, Washington University students are happy here, and it shows.
Washington University was ranked No. 17 in highest retention rate by the Center for College Affordability and Productivity.
“This is very important for us,” University Provost Edward Macias said. “We would like for students to come here and succeed at Washington U.”
Macias attributes the high retention rate to programs, including Congress of the South 40, Cornerstone and FOCUS classes, that aim to make the freshman experience well rounded and as stress-free as possible.
He also said that the First Year Center plays a big role in helping students acclimate to college.
“It’s very purpose is to help students to succeed and to continue on here,” Macias said.
According to the U.S. News & World Report, the University has a 97 percent freshman retention rate.
“That’s pretty good, 97 percent. We’d always like to do better, but that’s about as good as you can do,” Macias said.
Students are not surprised that the University has a high retention ranking.
“Wash. U. does a good job of maintaining a high quality of life; it’s one of their main focuses. You don’t hear of many people transferring from here and more of people transferring to here,” senior Jeff Goodman said.
Some students expected the University to be ranked even higher.
“I’m somewhat shocked it’s not higher because my freshman experience was awesome,” junior Zachary Gale said. Wash. U. does a lot to pamper us—with Tempur-Pedic mattresses and how amazing Bear’s Den is now. Ninety-seven percent is not too shabby—it’s pretty good.”
Macias said that the University puts an emphasis on making the freshman year of new students as happy as possible.
“We put a lot of resources into making the freshmen experience a very enjoyable one,” he said. “I think it’s something to be proud of. We’re always trying to do better. Morale seems quite high. The idea of success, the idea that students really enjoy the experience, that is very important to us.”
Students agree that the University is successful at using programs to help students get acclimated to college.
“I think that Wash. U. does a really good job of making residential life fun and supporting freshman programs. My freshman year was my favorite year. I definitely felt comfortable from the beginning with my freshman floor and my RAs,” senior Naomi Forman said.
According to the report, the three Universities with the highest freshman retention rates are Yale University, Swarthmore College and Princeton University.