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Less-Selective Colleges With Highest Retention

Retention refers to a students’ continued enrollment in one institution after completion of their first year. A high retention rate is a sign that the institution boasts strong academics, strong support, and great student life overall that help a student graduate and achieve greater goals. There are several colleges (paywall), which, despite their lenient selectiveness, maintain high retention rates. The institutions below yield an average acceptance rate of 62.38% while maintaining an average retention rate of 93.73%.

When choosing where to apply to college, many students tend to aim for big-name prestigious universities.  However, in their selection of “backup” colleges, it is equally important that students also look into schools that are more lenient. At the same time, those backups should boast a high retention rate along with strong academics that show the potential of helping students obtain their degrees. Notable institutions selected by The Chronicle are the University of Wisconsin at Madison, the University of Washington, and the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

Retention and acceptance rates as of fall 2016



Source: Data is from an analysis of U.S. Department of Education data by the Chronicle.

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