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Latinos are the third highest persistence and retention group at a public four-year institution at 79.3%.
Latinos are the third highest persistence and retention group at a public four-year institution at 79.3%.

Study reflects increase in Latino college persistence rates

69.2% of Latino students who started college during the pandemic returned to continue their sophomore year of college

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The National Student Clearinghouse Research Center (NSCRC) released a study Tuesday showing that 75% of students who started college during the COVID-19 pandemic returned to continue their sophomore year at any U.S. institution.

Retention rates increased for all racial and ethnic groups except Native American students, who experienced a 2.8 percentage point decline.

For Latinos, a slight increase was also reflected. 69.2% of Latino undergraduates showed an increase in the persistence rate, gaining back a total of 0.7 percentage points compared to last year.

In addition, Latinos are the third highest persistence and retention group at a public four-year institution (79.3%). While White and Asian students rank second and first respectively. 

Community colleges and private for-profit four-year institutions also experienced increases in both persistence and retention, while other four-year institutions experienced small declines.

The increase in this year's persistence rate is due to first-time students transferring in their first year more than those remaining at their home institution. The opposite of last year's trend, where there was a decrease in the transfer rate which led to a decrease in the first-year tenure rate.

While the transfer rate for full-time students continued to decline, part-time students experienced the second highest transfer rate since the NSCRC began tracking the data in 2018, two years before the pandemic.

Despite the increase in nearly all racial and ethnic groups is higher, the study asserts that the persistence rate remains below the level reflected before the pandemic (75.9%).

THE 5 MOST COMMON MAJORS IN BACHELOR'S DEGREE LEVEL

Engineering ranks as the most common concentration among bachelor's students, achieving a 91% persistence rate. However, it represents a decrease of 1.2 percentage points from last year. Similar to the persistence rates, retention in Engineering remains the highest at 84.4%.

Biological and Biomedical Sciences follows closely behind with a retention rate of 89.1%, down 2.2 percentage points from last year.

The third concertation, are Liberal Arts and Sciences, General Studies and Humanities. Followed by Health Professions and Related Clinical Sciences. Business, Management and Marketing is the fifth most common concentration.

Liberal Arts majors remained relatively stable from last year, while all other majors experienced notable declines in their tenure rates, ranging from -1.4 points (Business) to -2.8 points (Biological and Biomedical Sciences).

The NSCRC study examines the first-year persistence and retention rates of students entering college for the first time. The persistence rate is measured by the percentage of students who return to college at any institution for their second year, while the retention rate represents the percentage of students who return to the same institution. Students who earn a credential in their first year are counted in these rates. This annual report helps institutions understand demographic and racial trends and disparities. 

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