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Cedarville professor Dr. Mark Caleb Smith on a television newscast.

Freshman Retention Rate Tops National Average

by Ryan Bower, Assistant Director of Public Relations

Cedarville University continues to outpace the national average in freshman retention rates, according to the latest data provided by the University’s admissions office. A total of 783 freshmen, 95.6 percent, will return to Cedarville for the spring semester.

That number is higher than the national average for both private (91.0 percent) and public (90.0 percent) four-year institutions. Cedarville’s retention rate also ranks higher than the national average for private colleges with higher selectivity rates (92.0 percent). 

This year’s freshman retention rate, which is Cedarville’s best since 2012-13, is also higher than its five-year average of 95.6 percent. 

“There are a number of reasons that our retention rates are so strong,” said Roscoe Smith, associate vice president of university admissions. “We admit students who have a high chance of academic success, our students are highly invested and committed to Cedarville and we’ve seen through student satisfaction surveys that we’re providing an experience that students want.”

In addition to the strong retention rates, Cedarville is also seeing an increase in new student enrollment for the spring semester. A total of 58 students, which includes incoming freshmen, transfers and readmits, have submitted their deposits to join the student body for the spring semester, a 39 percent increase from last year’s number of 42.

While the University’s total number of new applicants for the spring (310) was lower than last year’s total (317), a higher number of students qualified for admittance this year (208) as compared to a year ago (164).

“We’re always very intentional about following up on recruitment with our applicants,” said Smith. “But this year the admissions team really excelled, and despite having a lower number of applications, we actually saw a much higher yield in accepts and deposits among prospective students.

Located in southwest Ohio, Cedarville University is an accredited, Christ-centered, Baptist institution with an enrollment of 3,711 undergraduate, graduate and online students in more than 100 areas of study. Founded in 1887, Cedarville is recognized nationally for its authentic Christian community, rigorous academic programs, strong graduation and retention rates, accredited professional and health science offerings and leading student satisfaction ratings. For more information about the University, visit

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