Why is there a large drop in High School student retention at the end of the Fall term?

The reason there is a large drop in the High School student population retention at the end of the Fall term is most likely because at that time, it is very likely that only very few students have been "retained" either by earning a certificate or degree at the end of the Fall term, or by enrolling in the following Fall term.

By default, retention is measured by calculating the percentage of New, Full time students from the selected student population type that were enrolled in the previous Fall term and are either graduating or returning the following Fall term.

  • By design, SS&E displays the on-going retention rates, therefore the retention graph displays the selected population's progress towards their retention as time passes, even when it is low.

The most recent data point will display as soon as someone in the selected student population type is successfully retained, either by enrolling in the following Fall term or successfully earning a degree/certiificate at the end of the Fall term.

  • If very few students from the selected population graduate and earn a degree or certificate at the end of the Fall term, and the enrollment for next Fall has not yet started, that can explain why the student population retention drop is large/the retention rate is small at the end of the Fall term. 
  • It is expected that as time passes, as the selected student population graduate or enroll in the following Fall term, the selected student population retention rate will increase.

In addition, the retention is most likely low when registration has not yet started for the following Fall term so it is to be expected that not many students are counted as "retained" at the end of the Fall term. As soon as registration opens for the upcoming Fall term, the retention graph will most likely display results that are close to expected, as students are "retained" as they enroll in the following Fall term (and it is likely that early registrants will enroll around the same time).

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