Freshman Retention Near Record Levels

Posted on January 31, 2024
Lance Crawford

2023 Convocation data-lightbox='featured'
Students gather near Moulton Tower before the University of South Alabama's 2023 Convocation. Fall-to-spring retention for first-time full-time this year's freshman cohort was the second highest in University history.

The University of South Alabama’s one-semester retention rate for the 2023 first-time, full-time freshman cohort was 91.37 percent. It is the second highest one-semester retention rate of a freshman cohort in South’s history behind only the 2016 freshman cohort that recorded 92.1 percent. 

"Increased enrollment in the fall, and a higher retention rate from fall to spring, clearly shows that more students see the value of a South Alabama education," said Dr. Andi Kent, executive vice president and provost. "As we add more degree programs and online options, South will further strengthen its position as the Flagship of the Gulf Coast." 

The University makes student retention a priority implementing a variety of programs to help newer students adjust to life at South such as the First Year Experience that includes a campuswide Week of Welcome and Beyond, individual advising meetings and first-year courses led by engaged and innovative faculty.

Incoming freshman also receive direct referrals to resources like tutoring, academic workshops, coaching, career development and educational access. There is also need-based financial aid to help students stay in school as well as a Second Year Experience program focusing on personal and professional development.

“At South, we deliberately create environments that make it easier to form relationships and connect with other students, faculty and staff on campus,” said Dr. Nicole Carr, associate vice president of Student Academic Success. “Whether it’s learning in a community with other students, engaging with the Center for Academic Excellence, individual meetings with professional advisors or faculty mentors, we have united to foster relationships.”

Carr says students are also doing their part. Last fall a record number of appointments in the Center for Academic Excellence. South’s faculty have also played a valuable role in student retention.

“We are also very grateful for faculty engagement in first year courses and with student success technology,” said Carr. “When instructors take time to connect with a student, it shows them that we care.”

Share on Social Media

Archive Search

Latest University News