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Retention rate rises, greek rate highest

Bradley’s retention rate rose to its highest point in five years, with fraternities and sororities leading the way.

The all-university retention rate for the 2012 – 13 school year, measured by the percent- age of freshmen who become sophomores, was 87.8 percent, up from 85.9 percent the year prior.

“With hundreds of opportunities to get involved on campus, a focus on individualized learning, a multitude of programs to help students succeed and a 95 percent placement rate upon graduation, this retention number shows the Bradley extremely positive one,” David Glassman, the provost and vice president for academic affairs, said in a prepared statement last week.

When evaluated separately, the greek retention rate was 93.4 percent, with fraternities having  a 91.4 percent retention rate and sororities having a 95.4 percent retention rate. Approximately 30 percent of Bradley undergraduates are involved in the greek system.

Bradley prides itself on the totality of the college experience and how getting involved can lead to greater student satisfaction, Vice President for Student Affairs Nathan Thomas said.

“One of the most important factors [for retention] is the engagement of students in the campus community,” Thomas said. “Our fraternity and sorority community does a tremendous job of providing members a great sense of place, a tight knit community and a tremendous support network.”

Panhellenic Council President Ellie Silver said involvement and the commitment that comes from such involvement leads to a desire to stay at Bradley.

“Students in greek life are generally involved in a variety of campus organizations and have a strong sense of commitment, be it commitment to her chapter, other clubs, family, or Bradley as a whole,” Silver said. “Also, being a member of one of Bradley’s sorori- ties offers an instant academic support system by encouraging excep- tional study habits and academic success.”

The national average retention rate for schools similar to Bradley is 80.6 percent.