Whether an administrator or faculty member, the main goal for everyone who works at an institution of higher education boils down to one thing: helping students achieve their desired outcome. Whatever combination of credentials they seek, an institution aims to help students make it happen.

Today’s students have a lot of obstacles to contend with. They’re not only attending school, but also juggling work, family, school and finances – all while trying to decide if their current institution is a good fit and financial value. When students don’t feel they are receiving a good value, they are more likely to leave and find a college that better meets their needs, further complicating the complex student journey.

This student profile makes it more important for colleges to prioritize student retention programming that focus on retaining students. Here are three of the top reasons why:

Changing Educational Landscape

Over the past decade, there has been an increase in tuition costs, new technology, a struggling job market and economy, online degree options, massive open online courses, funding model changes, flipped classrooms, an increased focus on learning analytics and the more frequent admission of non-traditional learners. The bottom line? Today’s average student has vastly different needs and expectations than students of the past. This changing education landscape has created the need for a more effective approach to college success and student retention strategies.

Government Funding Changes

Governments are increasingly holding colleges and universities accountable for producing completion results through performance-based funding models. Simply reporting on high enrollment rates is no longer a sufficient metric of success. Graduation rates are now a key priority in higher education. In fact, more than 75% of the states have adopted some level of performance-based funding. Some states, like Tennessee and Ohio, now have 100% of their funding determined by graduation rates.

Reduced Costs

Institutions that implement a strategy to improve their student retention rate actually save money in the long run by retaining students with the right efforts in place. Here’s an example: if a college has 15,000 students and the retention rate improve by just one percent, an institution could save an estimated 1.4 million dollars.  That savings could help pay for better student success programming, allowing student retention investment to come full circle.

Student retention is a complicated problem for institutions of higher learning all around the country. However, by placing a stronger emphasis on student success, an institution can work to improve graduation rates and more effectively meet the expectations of an ever changing student body.

To learn more about the secret to student success and how your institution can boost your graduation rates, click here to download our free eBook.

Secret to Student Success eBook


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