Smaller Share Of Freshmen Stick It Out To Sophomore Year, Report Says

Career College Central summary:

  • The share of students who were still enrolled at any college in their second fall term has slipped slightly in the past few years, according to a report released on Thursday by the National Student Clearinghouse Research Center.
  • The report examines all first-time students who started college in the fall of 2012 and tracks where they were a year later. While the retention rate (students returning to the same institution) stayed about the same as in recent years, the persistence rate (students remaining enrolled anywhere) declined by 1.2 percentage points from 2010.
  • A greater share of the students who left, then, didn’t re-enroll anywhere else. In the 2012 cohort, about one in nine freshmen had transferred by their sophomore year. All figures varied considerably by sector.
  • Those were the key findings of the research center’s latest report, which is based on data from 3,600 colleges and universities, covering 98 percent of the students attending public and private nonprofit postsecondary institutions.
  • "Getting past the first year, either by staying put or by transferring to another institution, is one of the most important milestones to a college degree," Doug Shapiro, the center’s executive research director, said in a written statement. "We need to find better solutions for keeping students on track to graduation, whether that means the student transfers or stays put."

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