The College Hunger Games: How Many Students Make it Past Freshman Year?

Competition, relationships, betrayal, and success-are all components of the now familiar tale of The Hunger Games. These components are also being played out in the young lives of college students all over the country.

Freshman Retention Rate

Only 59% of college students make it through their freshman year at a four-year college and receive their diplomas within six years (2006). Studies reveal that many students are facing a myriad of challenges.

  • Financial Stress: Students who try to work more than 20 hours a week are often at risk of dropping out. Students are also at risk of dropping out when they take on too much debt. 
  • Unprepared for College Life: Some students don't schedule classes well and find that they are cramming too many classes into just a few days of the week, or they don't take the classes they need to complete their major. Or, they are unable to study effectively and fail classes.
  • Poor Support: Teachers and faculty are not trained to spot the tell-tale signs of a student at risk of dropping out.

How Many College Students Are Able to Complete Their Degree?

Enrolling in college is easy, it's completing college that is difficult.  Only 43% of seniors go to college and finish where they started, and only 56% of these students finish their degrees at any college. Some colleges have changed their curriculum, some have changed the amount of time needed to earn a degree, and most are searching for the right balance to help promote a successful college experience for your sons and daughters.

According to the New York Times, fewer U.S. seniors are choosing college after high school. Or is it just like in The Hunger Games, where your district determines your fate?

If you'd like to go to a college where freshman retention is a priority, check out this list below.

Note that these schools are ranked by freshman retention rate only.

Note that these schools are ranked by freshman retention rate only.

Discover your best fit college and major for you with College Match.

Image of the Mocking Jay Pin by Kendra Miller via Flickr unbder CC BY-ND 2.0