More freshmen are returning as sophomores than in recent years.
Student retention rate measures the number of freshmen who return as sophomores. The retention for Fall 2014 freshmen returning as sophomores is at 85 percent. The rate increased 5 percent from last year.
“Eighty-five percent is best in recent recorded history,” said Kevin Windholz, vice president of enrollment management. “I think it is outstanding.”
Windholz said he credits the increase to communication between prospective students with student accounts. The communication includes making sure the students and their parents understand the cost and how financial aid helps before they enroll in the university.
“This will help people come here and there is less of a sticker shock,” Windholz said. “They feel more comfortable with ability and willingness to pay. ”
Windholz also said he predicts next year’s rate to be just as high or better because there was less ‘freshman melt’ during the summer. ‘Freshman melt’ is when a freshman enrolls in classes but drops during the summer before classes start.
“This is one of the early indicators of what the retention rate could be,” Windholz said. “It shows me that it is looking like the retention rate for this class will be really similar to last year’s class.”
Winholz said he also credits the increase to more communication in student affairs.
Monica Hiller, elementary education sophomore, said she is happy to be back at OCU.
“This place is my home,” Hiller said. “I understand why students wouldn’t come back, like financial reasons, but I can’t imagine not coming back.”