Hope for Freshman Retention Rates

By Charlese Freeman

Staff Writer

When asked, “What comes to mind when you hear the word College retention and what that means to ESU?” Dr. Jeffrey A. Weber said, “College retention is helping students succeed and keep on keeping on.”

According to usnews.com, the freshman retention rate at ESU from 2011-2014 was 72 percent.

Dr. Weber shared a chart that also showed the same demographics of first time, full time rates, but his chart also included the fall 2015 and the second year retention rates.

By fall of 2015, the chart showed that the retention rate for 2015 was 72 percent.

Although the second year rates were slightly lower, there hope for ESU because these rates have increased since 2011.          

Dr. Weber says, “There are many reasons why students leave ESU. Reasons range from personal reason, to financial reasons and academic reasons.

There are students who leave ESU because they get an opportunity at their first college choice, there are those who leave because they want to be closer to home and then there are those who do not do well academically.”   

Dr. Weber says, “Students first is not just a catch phrase.”

ESU faculty genuinely care about their students and go above and beyond to interact with students. The most important aspect of college retention is the individuality of the students.

What can students do to help their peers and improve ESU’s college retention? The simple answer would be to get connected.   

Dr. Weber adds, “There is the real message of retention that you as the students are just as important as anybody in administration in faculty to help retain students.”

College retention is not just about the statistics, but about it is about the students getting involved, making connection and truly creating that college experience.   

Although the Freshman Retention Rates could be better, there is hope for ESU students. Dr. Weber and the other faculty reach out to students.

They try to build connections to with student so they can continue their academic career at ESU, but college retention is not about the numbers, but the students who make the numbers.


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