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QU keeps above average retention rate
Quinnipiac has a higher retention rate than the average four-year private university, administration said.
The typical private, nonprofit university has about 80 percent of its students complete their freshman year and return for their sophomore year. In the fall of 2012, Quinnipiac had an 85.2 percent retention rate, said Andrew Delohery, associate vice president for retention and academic success.
“Retention rate is one of the things that helps parents decide, ‘Am I funding something that’s likely to be successful?’” Delohery said.
Quinnipiac has maintained a retention rate between 84 to 87 percent over the past 10 years, Delohery said.
The university ranked as a selective school under the Carnegie Classification with its above average retention rate, but Delohery said he hopes to see this rate increase to 90 percent in the future.
“[We look at why students transferred] to see what we can do to improve our retention rate,” he said. “While we know we want to get to 90 [percent], we also want to make sure we do it in a way that is consistent with our sense of community.”
Although Quinnipiac outranks many other private universities’ retention rates, Delohery said it is important to look into why students leave the university before their sophomore year.
“We’ve recently done a survey where we contacted students who have left and overwhelmingly the commentary was, ‘I left because I didn’t quite fit in,’” Delohery said. “Now, we can turn around and say, ‘What pushed you away?’”
Delohery said the Learning Commons, Student Affairs and faculty members try to prevent students from transferring by addressing warning signs.
“We’re trying to figure out how we can get to students as quick as possible who are not having their expectations met,” he said.
Sophomore Shannon Hurley said she considered transferring her freshman year.
“I just felt like I kind of lost myself here,” Hurley said. “Hearing how much other people were loving their college experience definitely got to me because I felt completely different about everything and thought it might be better somewhere else.”
Hurley said she decided to not leave Quinnipiac once she became more involved on campus.
“It opened a lot more doors where I could actually meet people who shared interests with me and were much more positive about Quinnipiac and everything it had to offer,” she said. “I’ve met so many more people and I feel like I have accomplished a lot more of the goals I had set for myself entering college.”
Danielle Podlaski, a current sophomore at Ohio University, said she will be transferring to Quinnipiac in the fall.
“Quinnipiac has a really great journalism school, as I am a journalism major,” Podlaski said. “The campus is beautiful, and I love hockey, so Quinnipiac seems like the perfect fit.”