Report: Fewer college students staying for second year
- The percentage of first-time college students who return to any higher ed institution for their second year — or persistence rate — dropped 1.2% from 2009 to 2012, according to a report released Thursday by the National Student Clearinghouse Research Center.
- The percentage of students who return to the same institution for their second year — the retention rate — has remained constant during the four-year period.
- Of the students starting college in the fall of 2012, the persistence rate was 68.7% and the retention rate was 58.2%.
As Inside Higher Ed notes, the four-year persistence rate drop is substantial — 37,000 students from a total enrollment of 3.1 million. It’s also significant because policy makers and college administrators have been focusing on trying to boost the numbers measured by persistence and retention rates. The category with the largest drop in persistence rate from 2009 to 2012 was students starting college at four-year private non-profit schools: 2.8%. Their persistence rate was 83.1% and their retention rate was 72.9%. The category with the lowest retention and persistence rates in 2012 was students at four-year for-profit schools, at 51.2% and 46.2%, respectively.