Campus & Community / Magazine Feature

Persistence rate reaches new high

Eighty-nine percent of students who entered DU as first-year, first-time students in fall 2005 have re-enrolled this year. It is the highest one-year persistence rate since the University began tracking the number in 1997, according to an Oct. 4 report from the Office of Institutional Research and Assessment. 

Based on numbers after the third week of classes, 121 students of 1,097 did not return to DU this fall. Male students returned to DU at an 88.9 percent rate, while 89.1 percent of female students returned. The persistence rate for domestic minorities was 94.5 percent. 

“This is definitely a good news report,” says Jo Calhoun, associate provost for Student Life, who points out that any number of factors can lead to a higher persistence rate. 

Student Life set an overall one-year persistence goal of 90 percent in its 2005–10 strategic plan. 

“Persistence is a measure of so many things,” says Tom Willoughby, vice chancellor for enrollment. “It is a measure of student success and student satisfaction and a measure of our success in selecting students that are right for DU. 

“It also measures the University’s success in providing programs and services which help students during [transitions].” 

Of the students who did not return, 17 indicated on a stop-out or withdrawal form that they left the University because “tuition was too high or their financial aid was inadequate.” This was the most-cited reason among the group. 

This article originally appeared in The Source, November 2006.

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