Northwest saw record retention rates coming into this semester despite budget cuts and tuition hikes.

According to a University press release, 78.66 percent of freshmen return to Northwest as a sophomore, which surpasses the 2007 record of 73.51 percent.

The record retention rates is exciting news to Director of Academic Success and Retention Allison Hoffmann.

“We knew we were on track to reach a record high but starting the school year above 78 percent was incredibly exciting,” Hoffmann said. “It’s great to see the hard work of our team and the entire campus community pay off.”

The increase in retention comes at a time when universities are facing funding issues, something that Hoffmann said can be problematic in retaining students.

“There are a number of factors that contribute to student retention,” Hoffmann said. “Budget constraints and tuition increases can make it more difficult to retain students. However, academic success, engagement, a sense of belonging and connectedness with faculty/staff are key elements, and we do a great job at each of these at Northwest.”

Hoffmann said her team works hard to see retention climb.

The Academic Success & Retention team is deeply rooted in retention efforts,” Hoffmann said. “Our team works closely with students prior to coming to campus through our orientation programs, and University Seminar serves as academic advisors for first-year students and success coaches for students participating in the academic success coaching program and provides academic support in the form of tutoring, Supplemental Instruction.”

Retention is not only dependent on Hoffmann’s team. She points out that multiple groups at Northwest work to increase the retention rate.

“Retention is truly a team effort and in this case, it’s a campus-wide team effort,” Hoffmann said. “There’s no doubt the implementation of our first-year advising and success coaching model in addition to policy changes, such as moving the last day to drop a course, positively impacted our retention rates.”

Sophomore Vannic Truong is part of the record retention. She said the sense of belonging was an important part of her staying at Northwest.

“Once you go here it becomes your home,” Truong said.

The affordability and biology program are also reasons Truong chose Northwest.

“I mean (affordability) is definitely (a top priority), right under what I want to do in the future. (Northwest) has a pretty decent science program,” Truong said.

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