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Comparing national dropout rates to Concordia’s

College is not the right decision for everyone, but not everyone knows that until after they’ve enrolled.

According to, the dropout rate for all college students is 40%, and for all first-year students is 30%. 

For first-year students at Concordia College, the dropout rate is 17%. 

However, that statistic does not cover every student, every scenario nor every transfer. No matter where students are, there will always be those who struggle and those whose fate is to add to the nationwide statistics of college dropouts.

Concordia’s Admissions building | Rachel Hauschildt

John Andrick, director of the Center for Student Success said, “they withdraw for a number of reasons. They are transferring to a different college (for) financial concerns or academic concerns. Maybe we are not a good fit for them or college wasn’t right for them at the time.” 

Andrick said that Concordia is seeing those reasons and those numbers at a much lower rate. “Establishing a community in college is important to find success at college,” Andrick said. Starting at the first week of orientation, Concordia attempts to place students with a supportive community from the get-go. From orientation to First-Year Transition labs, students find the level of support they need.

Heidi Rogers, assistant director of Retention and Learning Services says, “There is a positive correlation between campus involvement and academic persistence. This is supported both in the national data as well as Concordia-specific data.”

COVID-related concerns have also become a reason why some students have been forging away from school upon arrival in recent years. 

“COVID continues to impact students who have had to work more to make up for loss of income for themselves and their family, which can impact their academics. Students who have also had to or need to continue supporting family members by being a care provider are also impacted,” Rogers said.

However, Andrick said that the retention numbers of first-years to sophomores may not have been impacted as harshly as some may believe. 

“I think that most students who wanted to stay, stayed whether COVID was impacting them or not.” 

The Center for Student Success is where students can find resources to help with all levels of concerns. 

Abigail Peterson, sophomore and tutor at the Center for Student Success, said, “I like helping people. I like helping people understand.” Whether stopping in for a quick chat about studying habits or receiving help from the writing center, the Center for Student Success is a great place to find support without leaving campus to find it.

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