University’s Largest Class Comes Back Smaller

Sean McGuire, Contributing Writer

The Class of 2021 was the biggest freshman class to ever be accepted into the University of New Haven.  But is it as big as we remember? The answer is no.

Every university has retention rates. The Free Application for Federal Student Aid, or FAFSA, defines retention rate as, “the percentage of a school’s first-time, first year undergraduate students who continue at the school the next year.”

The University of New Haven  has prided itself in the past for having a high retention rate. The use of the data provided by the National Center for Education Statistics reports that from 2001 to 2017 the average retention rate for full-time freshman undergraduate students was 80.1 percent. In comparison the retention rate for part-time is around 43 percent.

This past year the retention rate of the class of 2021 dropped below average in both categories. Full-time fell to 79.1 percent and part-time fell to 41.3 percent.  This means that, on average, more people left the university after their first year than in recent years.

Recently, the university has been building up its facilities to make room for more student resources. This includes parking lots, lab rooms, and newer classrooms.

“We work hard to provide a positive experience and a community where all students have a sense of belonging,” said vice president of student affairs and dean of students Rebecca Johnson. 

Some students feel the number of new students coming in are crowding the facilities.

“Many labs and other classes are being overfilled making it so hard for students to take classes specifically for their major,” said Britney Caso, a junior in forensic science. “I cannot even take my lab for my microbiology class. I have to wait till next semester after I finished the class. It is definitely due to the overabundance of students fighting for the exact same classes.”

Some students are choosing to leave the university because they feel the promises they were made are not coming to fruition. But vice president of student affairs and dean of students Rebecca Johnson

New student Casey Van Veen said that these projects are making the experience less enjoyable for students, which is why she is leaving the university.

“I just feel the school is always talking about improving things, but it seems like they are not improving the actual lives of the students,” said Van Veen.  “The one on one with professors that students have been promised has lessened. This actually formed my distrust with the university. My biology class that usually has a cap at 18 has 27 people in it.”