SLU president reports 'uptick' in student retention, graduation rates
Monday, September 13, 2010 - 5:26 pm

CANTON -- St. Lawrence University President William L. Fox says the university sees upticks in trend lines that give him confidence that “our institutional strength and promise are in top form.”

With fall census data for enrollment now complete, retention figures and graduation rates are at their highest in 20 years.

“This is welcome news as we remain in a period of economic uncertainty and fiscal strain, all the while keeping our focus tightly on St. Lawrence’s own response to the Great Recession,” Fox said. “There is a significant uptick in trend lines we all can claim and celebrate.”

Retention of first-year students for their sophomore year is at its highest rate in 20 years, at 92.2 percent. This is seven points higher than it was 10 years ago. Retention of sophomore students for their junior year also is at the highest level over the last 20 years at 86.7 percent, a nine point jump in 10 years.

“That we are enjoying these very high retention rates in a time when families are challenged by the economy is testimony to the campus commitment to excellence felt by our students, and that strong sense is due to the good work in every corner of campus,” Fox said.

The high retention rate is also reflected in higher graduation rates.

The six-year graduation rate (six years is the standard used by government agencies and rating organizations) is at 82.7 percent, the highest rate since 1990 and 10 points higher than a decade ago.

Fox gave everyone at the university a “well done.”