Top 20 Online Colleges with the Best Retention Rates

Colleges with higher retention rates usually have these high retention rates for good reasons, including the high quality education programs they provide, achievements and national and/or international recognition. Attending a school that has a high retention rate of students is a sure-fire way to ensure that you will obtain a reputable and respectable degree.

Methodology

OnlineCollegePlan_Badge_20TopBestRetention_02We have ranked these schools based on the following criteria:

  • (75%): Retention Rate of Full-Time Students
  • (25%): Quality of the Education Provided

Due to the fact that many of these schools are tied on the retention rate criteria, the quality of the education that the school provides determined the tiebreakers.

The Top 20 Online Colleges with the Best Retention Rates:

20. Texas A&M University

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Located in College Station, Texas, Texas A&M University is a coeducational research university and is also the flagship institution of the Texas A&M University System. The school, which is designated as a land-grant, sea-grant and space-grant institution and is the fourth largest university located in the United States, boasts a 91% full-time student retention rate. The school’s high retention rate is due largely in part to the high-quality liberal arts degree programs which span multiple disciplines that are available through the school both on-campus and online.

Texas A&M University’s Website: https://www.tamu.edu/
Alternate School Names: TAMU
Retention Rate: 91% of Full-Time Students

19. Purdue University

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Located in West Lafayette, Indiana, Purdue University is the core campus of the Purdue University System. At Purdue University’s main campus, the school offers over 200 different majors for undergraduate students, more than 70 master’s and doctoral programs for graduate students and professional degrees in the areas of pharmacology and veterinary medicine. In addition to this, the school has many degrees and certifications available online for distance learners. The school has a 91% retention rate of full-time students across all degree programs offered.

Purdue University’s Website: http://www.purdue.edu/
Alternate School Names: Purdue U
Retention Rate: 91% of Full-Time Students

18. University of Delaware

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With the main campus located in Newark, Delaware and many satellite campuses around the state in the cities of Dover, Wilmington, Lewes, and Georgetown, the University of Delaware is the state’s land-grant, sea-grant and space-grant university. The Newark campus is also the largest university located in the state of Delaware. The school is organized into seven different colleges and three schools and holds a strong retention rate of 92% of its full-time students across all of the university’s programs and locations.

University of Delaware’s Website: http://www.udel.edu/
Alternate School Names: UD, or UDel
Retention Rate: 92% of Full-Time Students

17. Pepperdine University

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Located in unincorporated Los Angeles County, California, Pepperdine University is a Christian-affiliated, private and not-for-profit institution of higher learning. The various courses that the school offers are taught online for distance learners, at the main campus, at six graduate campuses that are located in Southern California and at international locations in the countries of Germany, England, Italy, China, Switzerland and Argentina. The school has a retention rate of 92% of full-time students across its various campuses.

Pepperdine University’s Website: http://www.pepperdine.edu/
Alternate School Names: Pepperdine U
Retention Rate: 92% of Full-Time Students

16. Pennsylvania State University

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Located in University Park, Pennsylvania and with various satellite campuses located throughout the state, Pennsylvania State University is the state’s land-grant, space-grant, sea-grant and sun-grant university and is a flagship institution. Pennsylvania State University is what is known as a “Public Ivy” school and is also one of the largest institutions of higher learning located within the United States based on undergraduate and graduate student enrollment. Offering more than 160 degree-granting programs through its various on-site locations and online programs, the school holds a 92% retention rate of students who are enrolled full-time in one of these many programs.

Pennsylvania State University’s Website: http://www.psu.edu/
Alternate School Names: PSU, UPenn, or Penn State
Retention Rate: 92% of Full-Time Students

15. Ohio State University

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With the main campus located in Columbus, Ohio, and with satellite locations in the cities of Lima, Mansfield, Marion, Newark and Wooster, Ohio State University is a public research and land-grant university and is the third largest university in the United States based on student enrollment. As a “Public Ivy” school and a member of the Association of American Universities–a prestigious collection of 60 public and private universities–Ohio State University maintains a 92% retention rate of full-time students enrolled in one of the school’s many academic degree-granting programs.

Ohio State University’s Website: https://www.osu.edu/
Alternate School Names: OSU
Retention Rate: 92% of Full-Time Students

14. George Washington University

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Located in the Foggy Bottom neighborhood of Washington, D.C., George Washington University is a private research university and is the largest institution of higher learning located in the District of Columbia. In addition to the school’s main campus and online division, George Washington University also maintains a campus in the Foxhall neighborhood of Washington, D.C. and a campus in Loudoun County, Virginia. George Washington University maintains a 92% retention rate of full-time attending students across all three of the school’s campuses and the school’s online division.

George Washington University’s Website: https://www.gwu.edu/
Alternate School Names: GWU
Retention Rate: 92% of Full-Time Students

13. Florida State University

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With its main campus located in Tallahassee, Florida, and with satellite campuses located around the rest of the state, Florida State University is comprised of 16 different colleges and more than 110 institutes and labs that offer over 360 programs of study. The university, which is a sea-grant and space-grant institution, holds a 92% retention of all full-time students across its various colleges and satellite locations. This rate is due in large part to the very high-quality academic programs that Florida State University offers both on-campus and online.

Florida State University’s Website: http://www.fsu.edu/
Alternate School Names: FSU
Retention Rate: 92% of Full-Time Students

12. Albertus Magnus College

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Located in New Haven, Connecticut, Albertus Magnus College is a private liberal arts college that maintains a Roman Catholic affiliation, specifically with the Dominican Sisters of Peace. Established in 1925 by the Dominican Sisters of St. Mary of the Springs as a women’s only school, the college became a coeducational institute of higher learning in 1985. Albertus Magnus College’s dynamic and quality liberal arts academic programs are likely the reason that the school has a 93% retention rate of attending full-time students.

Albertus Magnus College’s Website: http://www.albertus.edu/
Alternate School Names: Albertus
Retention Rate: 93% of Full-Time Students

11. University of Washington

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With the main campus located in Seattle, Washington, and with two others located in Tacoma and Bothell, the University of Washington is one of the oldest universities located on the West Coast. It is also one of the most internationally and nationally recognized. These accolades are due to the quality of academic programs that provided there, and the research that has come out of the school across various topics. The University of Washington, which is a public flagship institute, has a 93% retention rate of full-time students that are enrolled in a degree-granting program through one of the three campuses.

University of Washington’s Website: http://www.washington.edu/
Alternate School Names: UW or U-Dub
Retention Rate: 93% of Full-Time Students

10. Villanova University

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Located in Radnor Township, a suburb that is northwest of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, Villanova University is a private research university and is the oldest Catholic-affiliated university located in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. The school, which offers many liberal arts degrees for both graduate and undergraduate students, was ranked by U.S. News and World Report as the as 2nd best school in the Northern Region for “Best Value Schools” and 4th for “Best Undergraduate Teaching” in 2016. Being highly regarded is likely a contributor to Villanova University’s 94% retention rate of full-time enrolled students.

Villanova University’s Website: http://www1.villanova.edu/main.html
Alternate School Names: Villanova U
Retention Rate: 94% of Full-Time Students

9. Union University

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With the main campus in Jackson, Tennessee and two additional campuses in Germantown and Hendersonville, Union University is a top-tier Southern region university that is affiliated with the Tennessee Baptist Convention. A former member of the Council for Christian Colleges and Universities organization, Union University provides students with a high-quality education that ensures each graduating student will have the skills needed to be successful in their field upon program completion. Due to this, it’s no surprise that Union University has a 94% retention rate of full-time enrolled students across its three campuses.

Union University’s Website: https://www.uu.edu/
Alternate School Names: UU
Retention Rate: 94% of Full-Time Students

8. Lehigh University

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Located in in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, Lehigh University is a private research university and is considered a “Hidden Ivy” school, which is an institution of higher learning that provides a comparable quality education to Public Ivy and Ivy League schools but is not as well known as these Public Ivy and Ivy League schools. Lehigh University has four universities and offers many graduate and undergraduate degrees across many different disciplines. The school has produced several Nobel Prize winners, Pulitzer Prize winners and Fulbright Fellows due to the quality education provided, which is likely one of the reasons that the school has a 94% retention rate of full-time students.

Lehigh University’s Website: http://www1.lehigh.edu/
Alternate School Names: Lehigh U
Retention Rate: 94% of Full-Time Students

7. University of Georgia

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Located in Athens, Georgia, the University of Georgia is a public land-grant, sun-grant and sea-grant research university. With a Carnegie designation of “Highest Research Activity” and tied for the 21st rank of best public national universities by U.S. News and World Report’s 2016 rankings, the University of Georgia is a very high-quality education provider and is nationally and internationally recognized and respected. Likely due to this, the school has a healthy 94% retention rate of students that are enrolled full-time in one of the school’s many degree-granting programs for both graduates and undergraduates.

University of Georgia’s Website: https://www.uga.edu/
Alternate School Names: UGA
Retention Rate: 94% of Full-Time Students

6. University of Maryland

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Located in College Park, Maryland, the University of Maryland is the flagship school of the University System of Maryland. The school, which has a proximity to the nation’s capital, has many research partnerships with the Federal government. Due to this unique partnership, attending students have a unique opportunity to make connections and network with various Federal agencies. This unique opportunity coupled with the school’s high-quality academic programs that are offered almost certainly play a significant role in the impressive 95% retention rate of full-time students that the school has achieved.

University of Maryland’s Website: http://www.umd.edu/
Alternate School Names: UMD
Retention Rate: 95% of Full-Time Students

5. Stevens Institute of Technology

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With the main campus located in Hoboken, New Jersey, and with a satellite campus in Washington D.C., Stevens Institute of Technology is a private and coeducational research university that offers many undergraduate and graduate degrees and professional certifications to its enrolled students. Stevens Institute of Technology offers 29 undergraduate degree programs, 22 Ph.D. degree programs, 43 master’s degree programs and 122 professional certificate programs. All of these academic programs are taught by a faculty that strives to uphold excellence in teaching, which is likely why the school has a 96% retention rate among students that are enrolled full-time.

Stevens Institute of Technology’s Website: https://www.stevens.edu/
Alternate School Names: SIT
Retention Rate: 96% of Full-Time Students

4. University of Florida

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Located in Gainesville, Florida, the University of Florida is a land-grant, space-grant and sea-grant public research university. The school, which is a senior member institution of the State University System of Florida, offers many undergraduate and graduate degrees both on-campus and online to distance learners. The University of Florida, which is the third largest university located in the state of Florida, prides itself on the quality of its academic programs, and this goes a long way towards helping the school to achieve its impressive 96% retention rate of enrolled full-time students that span its multiple degree-granting programs.

University of Florida’s Website: http://www.ufl.edu/
Alternate School Names: UFL
Retention Rate: 96% of Full-Time Students

3. University of Southern California

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With the main campus located in Los Angeles, California, and many satellite campuses located throughout the state, the University of Southern California is a private, not-for-profit sea-grant and space-grant research university. Some of the school’s more distinguished alumni have founded companies such as Lucasfilm, Myspace, Riot Games and Tinder. The school’s strong commitment to providing a high-quality education and the school’s track record of producing excellence in its students are some of the many reasons that the University of Southern California has a 96% retention rate of students that are enrolled full-time.

University of Southern California’s Website: http://www.usc.edu/
Alternate School Names: USC
Retention Rate: 96% of Full-Time Students

2. Northeastern University

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Located in Boston, Massachusetts, and with satellite campuses located in Charlotte, North Carolina, Seattle, Washington and Silicon Valley, California, Northeastern University is a private, not-for-profit research university with a Carnegie rating of Highest Research Activity. The school, which features a cooperative education format–which blends classroom study with real-world professional experience–is nationally and internationally recognized for the quality of its academic programs. Northeastern University has a 96% retention rate of students that are enrolled at one of the school’s four campuses full-time largely in part because the school’s programs are of a very high-quality caliber.

Northeastern University’s Website: https://www.northeastern.edu/
Alternate School Names: Northeastern U
Retention Rate: 96% of Full-Time Students

1. College of William and Mary

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Located in Williamsburg, Virginia, the College of William and Mary is a public research university and is a member of the “Public Ivies” which are public schools that provide an education that is comparable in quality to the traditional Ivy League institutes of higher learning. The school, which has educated U.S. Presidents Thomas Jefferson, James Monroe and John Tyler in addition to other prominent members of the United States government, boasts a robust and impressive 96% retention rate of students that are enrolled full-time at the school. This retention rate is likely due to the top-notch education that the school provides, and the school’s track record of producing prominent and respected individuals.

College of William and Mary’s Website: http://www.wm.edu/
Alternate School Names: WM or College of W&M
Retention Rate: 96% of Full-Time Students

Top 20 Online Colleges with the Best Retention Rates