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Colby-Sawyer College's Retention Rate Outpaces National Average

Colby-Sawyer has one of the most competitive retention rates in the country, with a first-to-second year retention rate that is more than eight percent higher than the national average for its peer institutions.

Official retention rates measure the percentage of students who start in the fall of one academic year and return the following fall. Private colleges rated as traditional enrollment that offer bachelor's degrees, such as Colby-Sawyer, enroll the majority of their students from the top half of high school classes and have an average retention rate of 65.4 percent. Colby-Sawyer's 2013 retention rate is 73.6 percent.

Colby-Sawyer announced a 90.7 percent retention rate for first-year students returning for the spring semester, putting the college on track for an increased retention rate for the fifth year in a row in fall 2014.

Director of Student Success and Retention Kimberly Sauerwein thinks that Colby-Sawyer can do even better. The college's goal is to reach a retention rate of 78.8 percent, the average for selective enrollment institutions which enroll students from the top quarter of high school classes. “We hope to reach this level by the fall of 2015 by increasing retention by about three percent per year,” said Sauerwein.

“With continued student success efforts, we are capable of meeting our high goals,” says Sauerwein. “We are evolving our programs and our on-campus activities to really fit the needs of the students who choose to come here … we will continue to grow the number of happy, successful students attending Colby-Sawyer.”

-Jacqueline Susmann '14

Jacqueline Susmann is a Creative Writing major and an intern for College Communications.


Colby-Sawyer College is a comprehensive college that integrates the liberal arts and sciences with professional preparation. Founded in 1837, Colby-Sawyer is located in the scenic Lake Sunapee Region of central New Hampshire. Learn more about the college's vibrant teaching and learning community at www.colby-sawyer.edu.

Colby-Sawyer College, 541 Main Street, New London, N.H. 03257 (603) 526-3000