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Retention

WVU?focused on getting students to stay

Getting high school graduates to colleges and universities may be the easy part. Keeping them there can be even more difficult.

Each year, a substantial number of young people who entered as freshmen fail to return as sophomores.

West Virginia University has been using a focused retention campaign for several years, in an effort to reduce the percentage of college dropouts. It seems to be paying off.

This week, WVU Provost Maryanne Reed reported what appears to be a significant increase in retention since fall 2018.

The current retention rate for first-time freshmen is 79%. That is at least 3 points higher than a year ago, Reed said.

The statistic translates to the equivalent of about 161 more students returning for their sophomore year.

Obviously, that is good news for WVU, which estimated it means about $2.8 million more in revenue for the institution.

But it is much, much bigger news for those 161 young men and women. Good for them for sticking with higher education. And good for WVU for sticking with them. Let us hope the retention program can be improved even more.

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