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U.Va. and William & Mary named to ‘happy freshmen’ list

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Two Virginia schools — the University of Virginia and the College of William and Mary — are ranked on a list of 50 schools with the “happiest” freshmen students.

U.Va. was ranked 10th and William & Mary was 43rd. Yale University was No. 1, and Wellesley was No. 50.

The list by website College Choice looked at the retention rates of four-year colleges and universities — the percentage of freshmen who return to the schools for their sophomore year.

The difference between first place and 50th was only four percentage points.

“Your freshman year is pivotal in determining the kind of experience you will have in college. A positive first year will greatly increase your likelihood of staying at your school and earning your degree,” the website says. “In order to avoid the headache of a transfer, it’s important that you find a school at which you’ll be happy your freshman year.”

In cases where schools had the same retention rates, the website gave a higher ranking to the school with the better overall graduation rate.

College Choice found that William & Mary has a freshman retention rate of 96 percent.

U.Va. sees 98 percent of its freshmen return for their sophomore year.

Yale has a freshman retention rate of 99 percent. while Wellesley’s rate was 95 percent.


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