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Student Achievement

Retention Rate

SMU’s first-year retention rate has slightly risen since 2010, averaging 91 percent. That is in line with those excellent schools considered to be our peers, a complete list of which is at the bottom of this page. Details follow about first-year, degree-seeking students who started in the previous fall semester and who enroll again in the current fall semester.

SMU First-year Retention Rates Over Time and Peer Comparisons

IPEDS Reporting Year

2014

2015

2016

2017

2018

2019

First Year Retention Rates

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Cohort

2013

2014

2015

2016

2017

2018

Average

Southern Methodist University

89

90

91

91

91

91

91

Cohort Peers Average

91

91

91

91

91

91

91

Aspirational Peers Average

95

95

95

95

95

96

95

Colonial Group Average

94

94

94

94

94

94

94

Notes

Cohort and aspirational peer data for the most recent year has not yet been shared. This page will be updated when that data is received.

1. Cohort peers: institutions which are operationally comparative to SMU. That means they are private, similar in size and in offerings. They include: American University, Baylor University, Fordham University, George Washington University, Lehigh University, Pepperdine University, Syracuse University, Texas Christian University, University of Denver, University of Miami, University of Tulsa, and Villanova University.

2. Aspirational peers: institutions with which SMU seeks to be comparable in characteristics and quality. They include: Boston College, Boston University, Brandeis University, Carnegie Mellon University, Emory University, Northeastern University, Tufts University, Tulane University, University of Notre Dame, University of Rochester, University of Southern California, and Wake Forest University.

3. The Colonial Group: The Colonial Group is a consortium of fourteen universities formed by the Provosts of the universities, and supported by the Institutional Research offices through data exchanges and information sharing. They include: Boston College, Boston University, Brandeis University, George Washington University, Lehigh University, New York University, Northeastern University, Southern Methodist University, Syracuse University, Tufts University, Tulane University, University of Miami, University of Notre Dame, and Wake Forest University.