Report Finds Fewer College Freshmen Persisting to Sophomore Year

A new report by the National Student Clearinghouse Research Center shows that the share of students still enrolled at any college in their second full term has slipped slightly in the past few years, reports The Chronicle of Higher Education.

The report was based on data from 3,600 colleges and universities covering 98 percent of students attending public and private nonprofit postsecondary institutions. It looked at all first-time students who started college in fall 2012 and tracked them through the following year. The retention rate (students who stayed at the same institution) remained about the same, but the persistence rate (students remaining enrolled anywhere) declined by 1.2 percentage points from 2010.  

A greater share of students who left did not re-enroll anywhere, according to the report. About one in nine freshmen in the 2012 cohort had transferred by their sophomore year. All figures varied by sector.

"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," said Doug Shapiro, the center's executive research director. "We need to find better solutions for keeping student son track to graduation, whether that means the student transfers or stays put."


Related Links

First-Year Persistence and Retention Rates by Starting Enrollment Intensity: 2009-2012

The Chronicle of Higher Education