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Retention and Graduation Rates

Matriculating into a college is one thing, returning your sophomore year in good standing and then successfully pushing through to a diploma is quite another. Nationwide, the average retention rate (students who return for sophomore year) is 78%. Graduation rates are measured by: 1) the percentage of students that complete their degree; and 2) how long it takes to do so. Our list of retention and graduation rates at 396 of the nation’s top colleges and universities will show you each institution’s retention rate as well as what percentage of their student body graduates in four, five, and six years. A high retention and four-year graduation rate are indicators of quality undergraduate education.

Data was collected from each institution's Common Data Set for 2019-20. Graduation rates were collected from the Fall 2013 cohort and retention rates measured students who enrolled in Fall 2018 and returned for Fall 2019.

Table updated on August 22, 2020

InstitutionRetention Rate4-Year Grad Rate5-Year Grad Rate6-Year Grad Rate
Adelphi University79%60%68%73%
Agnes Scott College73%70%72%73%
Albion College80%61%69%70%
Alfred University73%44%54%58%
Allegheny College86%66%73%74%
American University87%75%78%79%
Amherst College97%88%94%95%
Appalachian State University88%53%70%73%
Arizona State University88%53%67%71%
Auburn University91%50%74%79%
Augustana College (IL)83%69%70%71%
Austin College78%68%72%72%
Babson College95%90%93%93%
Ball State University75%53%64%66%
Bard College85%64%75%77%
Barnard College95%84%90%92%
Baruch College (CUNY)89%44%66%70%
Bates College94%87%90%91%
Baylor University88%63%77%78%
Belmont University83%60%63%64%
Beloit College79%68%73%75%
Berea College84%48%61%68%
Bennington College83%56%67%76%
Bentley University92%82%87%90%
Binghamton University90%72%81%82%
Birmingham Southern College80%63%66%68%
Boise State University80%26%44%50%
Boston College95%88%91%94%
Boston University94%84%88%88%
Bowdoin College98%89%95%96%
Bowling Green State University77%42%56%60%
Bradley University85%60%76%77%
Brandeis University93%81%86%87%
Brigham Young University90%22%45%78%
Brooklyn College (CUNY)80%Not ReportedNot Reported54%
Brown University98%83%94%96%
Bryant University87%77%80%81%
Bryn Mawr College90%77%84%84%
Bucknell University92%86%89%90%
Butler University88%75%81%82%
California Institute of Technology98%84%90%94%
Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo94%51%79%83%
Cal Poly, Pomona89%18%50%69%
California State University - Fresno83%Not ReportedNot Reported58%%
California State University - Fullerton89%23%57%70%
California State Univesrsity - Long Beach87%26%64%74%
Calvin College85%64%75%76%
Canisius College84%64%74%76%
Carleton College95%88%91%92%
Carnegie Mellon University97%76%87%90%
Case Western Reserve University93%68%83%84%
Catholic University88%65%72%72%
Centre College90%82%84%84%
Chapman University91%49%56%57%
Christopher Newport University84%68%77%78%
City College (CUNY)84%12%41%56%
Claremont McKenna College95%84%90%91%
Clark University86%75%78%79%
Clarkson University91%60%74%81%
Clemson University93%60%81%84%
Colby College93%85%88%89%
Colgate University95%88%89%91%
College of Charleston81%57%64%66%
College of New Jersey, The93%75%84%86%
College of St. Benedict85%77%79%80%
College of the Atlantic79%45%50%52%
College of the Holy Cross93%87%90%90%
College of William & Mary95%85%91%Not Reported
Colorado College96%80%83%83%
Colorado School of Mines92%62%81%83%
Colorado State University85%46%66%70%
Columbia University99%88%94%96%
Connecticut College90%80%83%84%
Cooper Union93%62%78%91%
Cornell College82%69%74%75%
Cornell University97%87%93%95%
Creighton University90%69%76%81%
Dartmouth College97%87%94%95%
Davidson College95%87%91%91%
Denison University90%81%84%85%
DePaul University85%61%72%74%
DePauw University86%80%84%84%
Dickinson College87%80%82%83%
Drake University84%74%81%82%
Drew University85%66%69%69%
Drexel University89%0%66%69%
Duke University97%88%93%95%
Duquesne University85%71%79%80%
Earlham College80%56%63%64%
East Carolina University82%41%62%66%
Eckerd College81%60%65%66%
Elon University91%82%84%85%
Embry Riddle Aeronautical University82%Not ReportedNot Reported59%
Emerson College89%75%78%82%
Emory University95%82%88%90%
Evergreen State College66%42%52%57%
Fairfield University90%80%83%83%
Florida Atlantic University82%27%45%50%
Florida Institute of Technology79%44%57%59%
Florida International University89%33%54%61%
Florida State University93%68%81%83%
Fordham University91%78%82%83%
Franklin & Marshall College90%78%80%85%
Franklin W. Olin College of Engineering99%80%94%96%
Furman University90%78%82%83%
George Mason University86%47%65%70%
George Washington University92%76%81%82%
Georgetown College71%38%45%45%
Georgetown University97%91%94%95%
Georgia College86%49%62%64%
Georgia Institute of Technology97%46%85%90%
Georgia Southern University78%26%46%51%
Georgia State University80%28%48%55%
Gettysburg College91%77%80%81%
Gonzaga University94%75%84%85%
Goucher College75%54%66%68%
Grinnell College94%85%88%89%
Gustavus Adolphus College88%76%78%78%
Hamilton College94%89%92%93%
Hampshire College67%51%62%63%
Harvard University97%85%95%97%
Harvey Mudd College97%86%91%92%
Haverford College96%83%89%90%
Hendrix College87%67%73%75%
High Point University83%59%64%65%
Hobart and William Smith Colleges88%73%76%77%
Hofstra University83%55%63%65%
Hollins University75%63%66%66%
Hood College75%59%64%65%
Hope College92%72%80%81%
Howard University86%52%63%65%
Hunter College (CUNY)87%28%50%57%
Illinois Institute of Technology88%40%66%70%
Illinois Wesleyan University84%72%76%77%
Indiana University - Purdue U. Indianapolis73%30%48%54%
Indiana University Bloomington90%67%77%79%
Iowa State University87%47%71%74%
Ithaca College87%70%74%74%
James Madison University89%69%83%84%
Johns Hopkins University98%88%92%94%
Juniata College86%74%78%80%
Kalamazoo College88%76%83%86%
Kansas State University86%37%61%65%
Kennesaw State University80%16%37%46%
Kent State University81%40%56%60%
Kenyon College89%86%88%89%
Kettering University90%8%51%63%
Knox College81%65%73%74%
Lafayette College94%84%88%88%
Lake Forest College88%71%77%77%
Lawrence University87%62%76%79%
Lehigh University93%80%89%90%
Lewis & Clark College82%70%76%77%
Louisiana State University83%44%64%68%
Louisiana Tech University80%40%56%60%
Loyola Marymount University89%73%79%80%
Loyola University Chicago86%66%73%74%
Loyola University Maryland87%76%81%82%
Loyola University New Orleans79%34%40%42%
Macalester College93%8%86%86%
Manhattan College81%58%70%72%
Marist College88%76%82%84%
Marquette University90%64%81%82%
Massachusetts Institute of Technology99%85%93%95%
Messiah College88%75%79%79%
Miami University90%71%81%82%
Michigan State University92%56%78%81%
Middlebury College94%85%92%93%
Milwaukee School of Engineering85%46%61%65%
Mississippi State University81%31%54%58%
Missouri Univ. of Science and Technology82%24%57%66%
Montana State University77%27%49%56%
Morehouse College83%42%53%54%
Mount Holyoke College93%79%82%83%
Muhlenberg College90%84%86%87%
New College of Florida86%54%61%64%
New Jersey Institute of Technology88%37%63%67%
New Mexico State University75%22%42%48%
New York University94%76%83%85%
North Carolina State University94%57%80%83%
Northeastern University96%0%87%89%
Northwestern University98%84%92%94%
Oberlin College91%76%85%86%
Occidental College93%80%86%86%
Oglethorpe University80%37%46%48%
Ohio State University94%62%83%86%
Ohio University82%38%55%58%
Ohio Wesleyan University78%62%68%70%
Oklahoma State University83%41%60%65%
Old Dominion University80%29%48%53%
Oregon State University85%35%60%67%
Penn State University, University Park94%66%83%85%
Pepperdine University91%79%85%86%
Pitzer College93%78%83%85%
Pomona College97%89%93%93%
Princeton University98%90%97%98%
Providence College91%85%85%85%
Purdue University - West Lafayette92%59%61%80%
Quinnipiac University86%68%74%75%
Ramapo College of New Jersey88%59%70%76%
Reed College91%64%72%76%
Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute92%62%84%86%
Rhodes College92%75%79%80%
Rice University97%84%91%93%
Rochester Institute of Technology89%28%60%70%
Rollins College87%67%73%74%
Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology90%77%84%85%
Rutgers University93%65%81%84%
Saint Louis University91%71%77%80%
Saint John's University (NY)82%37%47%63%
Saint Mary's College, Notre Dame82%72%78%79%
Saint Michael's College83%77%81%83%
Samford University89%65%76%76%
San Diego State University89%40%68%74%
San Francisco State University79%23%49%57%
San Jose State University87%15%51%64%
Santa Clara University94%87%90%91%
Sarah Lawrence College83%63%71%78%
Scripps College93%86%89%90%
Seattle University88%61%72%73%
Seton Hall University83%50%62%64%
Sewanee - The University of the South88%72%78%79%
Siena College86%75%79%80%
Simmons University83%72%79%81%
Skidmore College91%85%88%88%
Smith College94%83%88%89%
Soka University of America94%88%89%89%
Southern Methodist University91%72%80%81%
Southwestern University86%63%68%69%
Spelman College88%68%73%75%
St. John's College (MD)86%Not ReportedNot Reported69%
St. John's College (NM)78%Not ReportedNot Reported62%
St. John's University (MN)85%71%74%75%
St. Joseph's University88%73%79%82%
St. Lawrence University90%82%85%86%
St. Mary's College of Maryland85%68%75%77%
St. Olaf College91%81%86%86%
Stanford University99%73%89%94%
Stevens Institute of Technology94%45%85%85%
Stonehill College83%77%82%82%
Stony Brook University89%59%73%76%
SUNY, Oneonta80%66%75%75%
SUNY, Maritime College78%Not ReportedNot Reported63%
SUNY, Polytechnic Institute74%45%56%58%
SUNY, New Paltz85%62%75%76%
SUNY, College of Environmental Science and ForestryNot ReportedNot Reported78%
SUNY, Geneseo85%72%79%80%
SUNY, Oswego77%Not ReportedNot Reported67%
SUNY, Purchase College81%56%64%65%
University at Albany (SUNY)80%56%62%63%
Susquehanna University87%69%71%72%
Swarthmore College98%86%93%94%
Syracuse University92%71%82%83%
Temple University89%52%71%74%
Tennessee Technological University77%31%50%54%
Texas A&M University - College Station93%55%79%82%
Texas Christian University91%71%81%82%
Texas Tech University87%34%55%60%
Thomas Aquinas College94%78%84%84%
The Citadel86%63%69%72%
The College of Wooster86%70%74%74%
Towson University86%48%67%71%
Transylvania University83%66%69%70%
Trinity College (CT)91%78%83%84%
Trinity University92%66%75%76%
Truman State University84%60%74%75%
Tufts University96%88%93%94%
Tulane University93%77%85%86%
Union College93%78%82%82%
United States Air Force Academy94%84%85%85%
United States Coast Guard Academy98%76%77%84%
United States Merchant Marine Academy94%69%77%78%
United States Military Academy95%80%84%85%
United States Naval Academy98%85%86%86%
University at Buffalo (SUNY)86%58%72%75%
University of Alabama87%50%68%71%
University of Arizona83%47%61%65%
University of Arkansas84%49%63%66%
University of California, Berkeley97%76%90%93%
University of California, Davis92%61%83%87%
University of California, Irvine94%69%83%84%
University of California, Los Angeles96%79%90%91%
University of California, Merced85%45%66%69%
University of California, Riverside90%56%73%76%
University of California, San Diego93%65%85%87%
University of California, Santa Barbara92%70%85%88%
University of California, Santa Cruz89%59%85%89%
University of Central Florida92%44%67%72%
University of Chicago99%89%93%95%
University of Cincinnati88%36%67%71%
University of Colorado Boulder87%46%65%69%
University of Connecticut94%73%83%85%
University of Dallas80%61%65%66%
University of Dayton89%65%80%82%
University of Delaware91%71%80%81%
University of Denver86%67%75%77%
University of Florida97%68%87%90%
University of Georgia96%66%85%87%
University of Hawaii at Manoa81%32%53%58%
University of Houston85%32%54%61%
University of Illinois at Chicago79%34%56%61%
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign93%70%83%85%
University of Iowa86%54%69%72%
University of Kansas86%48%63%66%
University of Kentucky85%45%63%66%
University of Louisville80%37%55%59%
University of Maine74%38%54%57%
University of Mary Washington80%55%63%64%
University of Maryland, Baltimore County87%42%63%71%
University of Maryland, College Park95%69%85%87%
University of Massachusetts Amherst91%74%81%82%
University of Memphis78%28%47%53%
University of Miami93%73%82%83%
University of Michigan97%80%92%93%
University of Minnesota, Twin Cities93%66%78%80%
University of Minnesota, Morris79%47%57%58%
University of Mississippi85%39%56%60%
University of Missouri, Columbia88%46%67%71%
University of Missouri, Kansas City76%25%44%50%
University of Montana71%30%45%49%
University of Nebraska - Lincoln84%41%61%65%
University of Nevada - Las Vegas79%17%36%45%
University of Nevada - Reno81%32%55%61%
University of New Hampshire86%68%76%77%
University of New Mexico77%29%48%53%
University of North Carolina at Asheville73%39%55%59%
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill96%84%90%91%
University of North Carolina at Charlotte83%32%54%54%
University of North Carolina at Greensboro75%46%57%59%
University of North Carolina at Wilmington86%53%70%73%
University of North Texas79%36%53%57%
University of Notre Dame98%91%95%96%
University of Oklahoma88%42%63%67%
University of Oregon86%56%71%74%
University of Pennsylvania98%86%94%96%
University of Pittsburgh93%65%81%83%
University of Portland90%71%77%78%
University of Puget Sound81%65%75%76%
University of Redlands84%65%72%76%
University of Rhode Island86%52%66%69%
University of Richmond94%84%87%89%
University of Rochester95%Not ReportedNot Reported87%
University of San Diego92%66%80%81%
University of San Francisco85%66%74%75%
University of Scranton88%79%82%83%
University of South Carolina89%64%75%77%
University of South Florida91%60%72%75%
University of Southern California96%78%90%92%
University of St. Thomas (MN)86%64%77%77%
University of Tennessee - Knoxville87%52%69%72%
University of Tennessee - Chattanooga71%28%43%47%
University of Texas at Austin, The96%66%83%86%
University of Texas at Dallas, The88%53%68%71%
University of Texas at Arlington, The69%18%35%42%
University of the Pacific83%47%64%67%
University of Tulsa87%54%71%72%
University of Utah89%33%59%70%
University of Vermont87%65%75%76%
University of Virginia97%89%94%95%
University of Washington95%66%82%84%
University of Wisconsin - Madison95%63%86%88%
University of Wyoming76%31%53%60%
Ursinus College87%75%78%81%
Vanderbilt University97%90%93%93%
Vassar College96%86%91%91%
Villanova University96%87%89%90%
Virginia Commonwealth University83%45%63%67%
Virginia Military Institute83%64%76%78%
Virginia Tech93%65%83%86%
Wabash College91%71%73%74%
Wake Forest University94%84%87%88%
Washington & Jefferson College83%69%74%75%
Washington & Lee University98%92%94%94%
Washington State University79%37%56%60%
Washington University in St. Louis97%88%93%94%
Wayne State University79%20%40%48%
Wellesley College95%84%89%91%
Wentworth Institute of Technology83%60%71%73%
Wesleyan University97%88%91%92%
West Chester University of Pennsylvania86%54%74%77%
West Virginia University76%35%54%57%
Western Washington University82%37%63%68%
Westmont College81%71%74%79%
Wheaton College (IL)93%82%88%89%
Wheaton College (MA)83%71%75%75%
Whitman College89%79%88%90%
Whittier College79%66%72%72%
Willamette University84%62%68%69%
Williams College97%88%94%95%
Wittenberg University70%59%63%63%
Wofford College92%77%80%85%
Worcester Polytechnic Institute95%82%87%87%
Xavier University83%66%72%73%
Yale University99%88%95%97%
Yeshiva University93%71%80%82%
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Colleges Worth Your Money

2022 Edition

A Guide to What America's Top Schools Can Do for You

“Innovative and invaluable...use this book as your college lifeline.”

-Lynn O'Shaughnessy, Nationally Recognized College Expert