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Undergraduate Students Show Unprecedented Satisfaction with Duquesne

More students than ever are satisfied with their first semester of college at Duquesne University, with 97 percent returning to campus this spring.

Besides this unprecedented first-semester retention rate, the Enrollment Management Group and University Retention Committee at Duquesne also announced that Duquesne's six-year graduation rate is 76 percent, 11 percentage points above the national average.

Duquesne's retention rate from the freshman to the sophomore year is more than 8 percentage points above the national average for doctoral-degree granting institutions, said Paul-James Cukanna, associate provost for enrollment management.

"Retention and graduation rates are important gauges of student engagement and our results reflect both the strategic investments of President Charles J. Dougherty as well as the diligent work of many academic, administrative and student services colleagues across campus," Cukanna said.  Many of these services are designed to help students transition from high school to a demanding academic environment.

Duquesne's first-semester freshman retention rate last year was outstanding at 95 percent, so the increase was notable for improving on an already-strong status. Even more significantly, Cukanna said, the incoming class in Fall 2013 was the largest in University history, with more than 1,550 students.

The six-year graduation rate for bachelor degree students-the one cited in government reports-is also at the highest point since Duquesne began tracking it in 1995, Cukanna said. By comparison, the National Center for Educational Statistics reported that the latest six-year graduation rate for private, nonprofit institutions was 65 percent.

"Our latest six-year graduation rate is a re-affirmation that the University community is meeting both the Spiritan mission of service to our students as well as a core tenet of our strategic plan," Cukanna said. "Parents choose Duquesne because they know we welcome the responsibility to guide and prepare their children for the next phase of their lives-whether it is employment or advanced study. It's a huge responsibility but one in which the University community has excelled, especially over the last decade."


Duquesne University

Founded in 1878, Duquesne is consistently ranked among the nation's top Catholic research universities for its award-winning faculty and tradition of academic excellence. The University is nationally ranked by U.S. News and World Report and the Princeton Review for its rich academic programs in nine schools of study for nearly 10,000 graduate and undergraduate students, and by the Washington Monthly for service and contributing to students' social mobility. Duquesne is a member of the U.S. President's Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll with Distinction for its contributions to Pittsburgh and communities around the globe. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the Princeton Review's Guide to Green Colleges acknowledge Duquesne's commitment to sustainability.