CSS Boasts Historically High Retention Rates

Emily Kiemele
ekiemele@css.edu

As students get ready to transition into spring semester with registering for classes and buying books, the question of how many current students will be returning to campus arises. This number is called the retention rate, or the percentage of students who started the fall semester and who will be returning in the spring. Dean of students, Megan Perry-Spears, had more information regarding these statistics.

Perry-Spears reported that the rate for this year’s upcoming spring semester is not yet known. It will be calculated after the first ten days of the spring semester, and then analyzed for trends in the data.

In the past, Scholastica has had fairly consistent retention rates. Perry-Spears said the five year average for freshman is 93.3%, and for all students is up to 94.4%. Before the current welcome weekend and orientation rehaul and changes to the freshman Dignitas program, the retention rate was down to 89.1% for freshman and 89.3% overall. This data represents only the main campus and includes students who leave campus due to internships.

When the retention rate is calculated, Perry-Spears and her team search the data to find trends, as she said it is important to them to fix any apparent issues. However, Perry-Spears notes that the data is “not necessarily fruitful” in producing causes, as choosing to leave the school is an individual student decision.

There are several different reasons a student would choose to leave the college. Perry-Spears reported some of the main causes.

Finances, or the perceived access to them, is a large factor in a student’s decision to unenroll. Some students question whether their education is worth the money they are spending. Students may also leave due to personal issues. Others may want to be closer to home. According to this data, most students who leave are not dissatisfied with the college itself, but rather are looking for a better fit for them.

Perry-Spears noted that the value of the education the college offers is “amazing” and the school takes action to connect with students who plan to leave. They gather names of students looking to unroll, and either try to recruit the student back or provide them with guidance to find a school that fits their needs.

Perry-Spears said it is her “moral responsibility to get [students] to a place where [they] can thrive.”