Retention & Graduation

The retention rate measures the percentage of a freshman class cohort still enrolled one year after entering. The persistence rate measures the percentage of students that are either continuing as enrolled students or have graduated. The retention rate of the freshmen cohort after 1 year can also be considered the persistence rate. The graduation rate measures the percentage graduating within six years of entering. The cohort includes all new freshmen entering in the fall semester taking a full-time load the first semester.

NC State’s retention and graduation rates are comparable to those of similar institutions. Universities with large enrollments in science and engineering programs typically have lower graduation rates than those with large enrollments in the liberal arts and sciences. In addition, many of our students take advantage of curricular and co-curricular opportunities that extend their time to graduation. NC State’s graduation rates have steadily increased over the last 10 years.


Graduation Rates of Freshmen Cohorts -Trend report of the IPEDS graduation rate starting with the 1994 entering cohort

Freshmen Persistence Rates – Trend report of persistence rates (graduation and continued enrollment) starting in 1979

Peer Comparison Rates – Comparison of NC State’s Freshman Retention Rates & 6-Year Graduation Rates with Peer Institutions