Higher Education Consultants

2013 Student Retention Indicators Benchmark Report

Compare key indicators of student retention and degree completion with other four-year and two-year, private or public institutions

This report provides benchmarks for college and university student retention indicators including term-to-term persistence, credit hours attempted vs completed, and institutional selectivity.

Download this benchmark report (below) to compare your institution’s performance using the latest-available benchmarks for predictive indicators of student retention such as term-to-term persistence and the ratio of credit hours completed vs. credit hours attempted. The benchmarks in this report are based on a Web-based survey of college and university officials in fall 2012.

Among the highlights:

  • At four-year private institutions, first-year students completed 93 percent of the credit hours they attempted in fall 2011 (median rate) and their persistence to the next term was 92 percent at the median. Also, for second-year students, median first-to-second term persistence was 94 percent, and median second-to-third-year retention was 84 percent.
  • At four-year public institutions, first-year students completed 87 percent of the credit hours they attempted in fall 2011 (median rate) and their persistence to the next term was 89 percent at the median. Also, for second-year students, median first-to-second term persistence was 93 percent, and median second-to-third-year retention was 81 percent.
  • At two-year public institutions, first-year students completed 77 percent of the credit hours they attempted in fall 2011 (median rate) and their persistence to the next term was 81 percent at the median. Also, for second-year students, median first-to-second term persistence was 85 percent, and median second-to-third-year retention was 53 percent.

Included in the report for four-year institutions, private and public, are significant variances by institutional selectivity and for students admitted conditionally.

This report is part of the Higher Education Benchmarks report series.

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