Freshman Retention Rises

A greater percentage of NMU freshmen are returning to campus for their second year of college, according to Paul Duby (Institutional Research). Nearly 73 percent of first time, full-time, baccalaureate-bound freshmen who enrolled in the fall of 2003 returned to NMU for the fall 2004 semester. This is a one percent increase over the previous year's comparison. It is also virtually equal to the all-time high in 1995, which is an especially notable achievement, given the fact that NMU now has twice as many freshmen.


Duby attributes the increase to the following factors: the success of the First Year Experience program, in which almost half of NMU freshmen are enrolled; Northern's array of student support programs, such as the college transition and freshmen probation programs, all-campus tutoring and the writing center; and stronger academic credentials of NMU freshmen.


“The credentials of our freshmen have been increasing because of scholarships and recruitment,” Duby said. “Our goal is to recruit more first-time, full-time freshmen and keep them.”


NMU has been investing more into scholarships such as the National Academic Award to recruit high school students.


“Our reputation is also increasing and if your reputation is stronger, you get better students,” Duby said.


Duby also said that the number of students from Northern Illinois and Wisconsin has increased.


“There are a lot of good things going for the university and the increasing numbers show that,” Duby said.



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Updated: November 8, 2004