University student retention


University student retention

University student retention, sometimes referred to as persistence, is of increasing importance to college administrators as they try to improve graduate rates and decrease loss of tuition revenue from students that either drop out or transfer to another school. Transfer rates are very high in the United States with 60% of all bachelor's degrees being awarded to students that began their college at another institution. [http://www.act.org/path/policy/pdf/retain_trends.pdf] Some transfer is planned; many community colleges have articulation agreements with four-year colleges. Other university systems have so-called feeder schools offering the first two years of the degree at a local campus with transfer into the flagship university in the junior year.

A number of efforts are underway in both educational circles and with companies that serve universities to provide resources to keep students engaged in their studies and in their involvement with the schools. On-campus or online advisors provide students techniques for success and can direct them to university resources for academic or psychological support. Additional counseling is often available for financial issues. Private counseling and private tutoring are other options for students.

As with other administrative functions on campus, out-sourcing is one way schools can better serve their students. Some educational service companies provide call center support, student engagement software and consulting strategies to universities to keep pace with this ever-challenging field.

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