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UNA sets student retention record

FLORENCE – Student success in the higher education setting comes in a variety of forms,  and retention is a top indicator that students are finding pathways to accomplish their academic goals and work toward graduation.

At the University of North Alabama, student retention has achieved a high watermark, with almost 80% of freshmen opting to return to campus for their degree work. 

“Preliminary data indicate that UNA has set a new record for freshmen retention,” said Julie  Taylor, assistant vice president for Enrollment Management. “UNA is actively recruiting and retaining a high caliber of student who not only complete their bachelor’s degrees, but they also want to be involved on campus and explore the many opportunities available to them on campus and in the community.” 

For context, the average freshmen retention rate for peer institutions to UNA is around 70%. UNA boasts an average retention rate in the mid-70s; most recent retention data,  however, indicate that UNA’s freshmen retention rate is close to 80%, which is a benchmark for the institution and widens the gap between UNA and its peers in regard to this key performance indicator of institutional quality. 

Among the campus-based entities contributing to the overall student retention rate as well as to  the high caliber student making UNA their first-choice institution for higher education is the Delores and Weldon Cole Honors College. The college is now home to more than 10% of the overall student body, and is on track to recruit event more students who were high performing in high school. 

“When students see what we have to offer in the Cole Honors College – from the enhanced  academics to the opportunity to network with Honors College alumni, it makes sense that they would choose UNA for their higher education,” said Dr. Vince Brewton, dean of the Cole Honors College. “More and more, students want the individualize opportunities we can provide as part of their overall collegiate experience.”

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