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Student retention rate nears pre-pandemic level — Campus Tech

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Student retention rate nears pre-pandemic level

Three in four students who started college in the fall of 2020 — the first fall semester of the COVID-19 pandemic — returned for a second year, according to a new report from the National Student Clearinghouse Research Center. This overall school retention rate of 75% represents a year-over-year increase of 1.1 percentage points, but remains slightly below the pre-pandemic level of 75.9%. Retention is defined as students returning to college at any institution in their second year (as opposed to retention, which represents students returning to the same institution).

The NSCRC attributes the gain in persistence to an increase in the number of students leaving their home institution to other schools (up 0.9 percentage points), rather than those remaining at the same institution (up 0.9 percentage points). only 0.2 percentage points). “This is a reversal of the trend from last year, where the drop in the transfer rate led to a drop in the persistence rate in the first year,” the organization explained, adding that the gain in persistence was led by community colleges and private for-profit institutions. four-year institutions. Other four-year institutions have seen slight declines in persistence and retention over the past year.

Among baccalaureate applicants, the major with the highest retention rate was engineering (91%), followed by biological and biomedical sciences (89%), liberal arts and sciences, general studies, and humanities (88%). %), health professions and related clinical sciences (86%) and business, management, marketing and related support (84%).

At the associate degree level, persistence for liberal arts and sciences, general studies, and humanities tops (64%), followed by computer and information sciences, and support services (62%), health professions and related clinical sciences (60%), business, management, marketing and related support (57%) and security and protection services (55%).

While the overall persistence rate has improved, the number of first-time students pursuing higher education has fallen sharply: -9.9%, or 255,000 fewer students compared to fall 2019. Colleges Communities accounted for 58% of the decline in first-time students, the NSCRC noted.

The full report is available on the NSCRC website.

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About the author: Rhea Kelly is senior editor of Campus Technology. She can be reached at [email protected].