Retention rate is better than many students believe | The Triangle

Retention rate is better than many students believe

In the four to five years students spend at Drexel, there are a plethora of faces that come and go. With 10-week terms and year-round schooling, Drexel is not for everyone. For this reason, some students in the Drexel community are under the impression that many of their peers do not make it through the first year without dropping or transferring out.

According to the National Center for Education Statistics, the retention rate for 2008 Drexel freshmen was 83 percent and has stayed around that average over the last few years. This balances the 23 percent transfer rate reported by the NCES. Drexel’s overall graduation rate was reported at 66 percent. Though the statistics dismiss the severity of the rumors, opinions from students provide evidence that can explain the consistently skewed perspective.

The feedback from students is mixed, but points to the positive. senior business major Aaron Freyer and pre-junior finance and accounting major Chantee Steele share their experiences and may provide some explanation as to why the rumors seem to outweigh the facts on campus.

Freyer transferred to Drexel from Wesley College in New Castle, Del., after his freshman year.

“Honestly, anything was better than that school,” he said. He stressed how the location of the school was one of the main reasons he left. Freyer admitted that he would have gone to Rutgers University in New Brunswick, N. J., but the university did not accept any of his transfer credits.

Not seeing Drexel as all bad, Freyer noted some of his favorite attributes about the University included location, the business law classes and the co-op program.

“I did an international co-op in Israel,” Freyer said. “It was one of the best experiences in my life. I’m not sure if I could have had that at any other school.”

Freyer also highlighted his friends and fraternity, Alpha Epsilon Pi, as reasons for staying at Drexel.

Like many students, Freyer’s least favorite attribute about Drexel is the cost of tuition. Freyer also experienced what he refers to as “bad advising and some unhelpful professors” as additional reasons that caused him to spend an extra term at Drexel.

In contrast, Steele, expecting to graduate in 2013, encountered the unexpected when she arrived at Drexel — and it turned out to be exactly what she was looking for.

“I never had intentions to attend a five-year program,” Steele said. “Once I learned about the wide array of opportunities available to me at Drexel, I decided to take advantage of the opportunity.”

Applying to Howard University, Philadelphia University and Carnegie Mellon, Steele feels she made the right decision in choosing Drexel and would not consider leaving.

“I’m still at Drexel because gaining hands-on experience is invaluable. I will graduate with three years of six months of experience in the field that I want to enter. A lot of students at other universities can’t say the same,” she said.