Academics and Research / Magazine Feature

DU posts best student retention since 2001

After the fall 2009 quarter, 97.2 percent of students who entered the University of Denver as first-year, first-time students returned for winter quarter 2010. 

It is the highest fall-quarter-to-winter-quarter persistence rate since 2001, when 97.5 percent of students returned. Last academic year, the rate was 96.1 percent.

Based on numbers after the third week of classes, 34 students out of the first-year class of 1,210 did not return for winter quarter.

“We pay attention to our student persistence rates to help us do a better job in retaining and graduating students,” says Tom Willoughby, vice chancellor for enrollment.

Many factors impact persistence, Willoughby says, including whether the University has done a good job in selecting students that are a good fit for DU. 

“While some of the reasons students don’t return are beyond our control, there are many things we can take charge of and influence,” Willoughby says. He says this includes providing an inclusive environment with strong academic and student life programs that provide a quality student experience. 

“We collect and track information to access patterns and use this information to improve programs to increase student satisfaction,” he adds.

Willoughby says registered students with a 3.0 GPA or higher have a significantly higher rate of persistence than the overall class. He also notes that students left for a variety reasons but financial aid was not one of them – 97.4 percent of students classified as having high financial aid need returned winter quarter.

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