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Knocking at our door - Retention for the future

Knocking at our door - Retention for the future

By Breeann Gorham (Guest Blogger)

GVSU has seen an impressive number of first year students attend each year, especially considering the number of high school graduates across the country is declining. This means GVSU is an attractive place to live and learn for students across Michigan, the country and the globe. Yet those bright-eyed first year students grow dim by junior year and many drop out, causing overall enrollment to decline.

When only a little more than half of all college students make it to commencement, it calls for higher education institutions to look inward at their own cultures and practices. If we can recognize what causes students to lose the Laker Love, and stop attending by about their junior year at GVSU, then we can be better prepared to hold on to the students that will be knocking at our door.

Here are some of the top reasons students stop going to college:

  • Financial: Tuition at GVSU costs over $11000 per year on average
  • Health: Many student face serious illnesses, or health crises in their families during the years they spend with us
  • Stress: Americans are experiencing stress at much higher rates than in previous decades, probably due in part to factors involving finances, lack of access to healthcare, and political and social discourse to name a few.
  • Academic preparedness: Our public school systems have not prepared students adequately in the areas of reading, writing and math by the 8th grade, especially students of color.
  • Social Connectedness: Feeling socially connected can help people to reach out to others in their communities and support each other.

Knocking at the College Door” is an interactive, visual projection of high school graduates and potential college students through 2032. If you are interested in the future at GVSU, take a look! Then ask yourself, “How can we better prepare ourselves, as a University, as a department and as professionals, for serving and retaining these future students?”


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Page last modified January 7, 2021