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Each year, Lake Forest College releases information about the College, including retention rates, to prospective and current students.

According to the College’s website, the second-year retention rate for “first-time, full-time, degree-seeking undergraduates for those students entering in the fall of 2015” was 83 percent.

The College has consistently worked on improving its retention rate. “During the past 10 years or so, the College has made significant progress in improving the retention and graduation rates of our students,” said Vice President of Student Affairs and Dean of Students Rob Flot in a March 7 email. “However, there’s still room for improvement, and we pay a great deal of attention to making further improvements in these critical areas.”

Flot said the College uses specific measures and information about students so more efforts can be made to increase retention. “The College uses data and other information about students to guide efforts to create structures and processes designed to improve retention. For example, we know that students who achieve above a 2.00 GPA in their first semester tend to have better retention than students who have less than a 2.00 first semester GPA. Knowing that, we design programs and services to help minimize the number of students who achieve less than a 2.00 first semester GPA,” Flot said.

The College pays attention to retention and graduation rates, keeping track of its students from the first year they are here to when they graduate. “The College measures retention and graduation rates each year, from first year through graduation, for up to six years total. It’s important to know the retention rate of students from first to second year, but it’s also very critical to pay attention to the graduation rates of students, as well,” Flot said.

Flot said that succeeding academically in their first semester at the College and engaging with College activities are some of the more important factors that aid retention. “There is no one cause that leads to the College’s current first to second year retention rate. While there are numerous factors that contribute to retention, we know that students who retain better at the College, and who find their experience more satisfying, are those who find success in the classroom during their first semester, and, become engaged outside of the classroom. Thus, first semester academic success, and engagement at the College, are two of the more critical factors that positively impact retention,” Flot said.

The College is a part of the Associated Colleges of the Midwest, whose website states its purpose as “[f]ostering academic partnerships among 14 liberal arts colleges,” including Beloit, Coe, Cornell, Ripon, Grinnell, and Monmouth colleges.

“The retention and graduation rates at Lake Forest College are generally comparable to that of the ACM as a whole,” Flot said. ’But, we have room for improvement, and we’re optimistic that we’ll build upon our current success.”

According to National Center for Education Statistics’ website, Coe College has a second-year retention rate of 77 percent, Ripon College has 93 percent, Monmouth College has 74 percent, and Beloit College has 88 percent.

The College is working on retention through a committee, and attempting to make progress in the coming years. “The initiatives that are being taken at the College are numerous and varied,” Flot said. ”The College has a Student Success Committee that guides College-wide retention efforts and initiatives. These efforts include initiatives in a number of areas, some of which are admissions, academics, and student affairs.”

Additional consumer information is available on the College’s Federal Disclosure Requirements page.

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