Retention and graduation rates are updated each year based on degrees awarded by October 1 of the reporting year. When rates are recalculated for prior years, they often differ slightly from what was reported based on October 1 of the previous year. This is most typically due to late awarding of degrees for students who studied abroad because receipt of transcripts from foreign institutions is often delayed.
Retention and graduation rates are calculated for students in the fall new freshmen cohort and for sub-groups of the new freshmen cohort. Tabulations include retention rates to the second through seventh years, and graduation rates after four, five, and six years. The rates presented here comply with the requirements of Section 488(a)(3) of the Higher Education Opportunity Act (HEOA) which requires disaggregation of retention and graduation rates by gender, race/ethnicity, and by specified financial aid circumstances (Pell Grant recipients, Stafford Loan non-Pell Grant recipients, and students who did not receive either a Pell Grant or a Stafford Loan).
For the fall 2017 entrance cohort of UW-Madison new freshmen, 95.4% returned to enroll in the fall of 2018. For the fall 2012 entrance cohort (the most recent cohort that has had 6 years to graduate), 87.3% graduated within 6 years.
By Race/Ethnicity, First Generation Status, and Veterans Status
- African American Students
- American Indian Students
- Hispanic/Latino(a) Students
- Targeted (South East) Asian Students
- Targeted Minority Students (previous four categories combined)
- Non-Targeted Asian Students
- Students Reporting Two or More Races
- White Students
- Native Hawaiian/Other Pacific Islander Students
- International Students
- First Generation College Students
- Military Veteran Students
By Residency for Tuition Purposes
By Financial Aid Participation
- New Freshmen who Received a Federal Pell Grant
- New Freshmen who Received a Subsidized Stafford Loan but not a Pell Grant
- New Freshmen who did not Receive either a Pell Grant or a Stafford Loan
- FASTrack Financial Aid Program Participants
- BANNER Financial Aid Program Participants
By Scholarship/Pre-College/Academic Support Programs
- PEOPLE Program Participants
- Posse Program Participants
- Chancellor’s Scholar Participants
- Powers/Knapp Scholar Participants
- Center for Educational Opportunity (CEO) Participants
- First Wave Program Participants
- University Residence Halls
By University Housing Residential Learning Communities and First-Year Interest Groups
- Bradley Learning Community Residents
- Chadbourne Residential College Residents
- Entrepreneurial Learning Community Residents
- International Learning Community Residents
- Multicultural Learning Community Residents
- Women in Science and Engineering Residents
- GreenHouse Learning Community Residents
- Creative Arts & Design Learning Community Residents
- Open House Learning Community Residents
- BioHouse Learning Community Residents
- First-Year Interest Group (FIGs) Participants
New Transfer Students
Retention and graduation rates are calculated for students in the fall new transfer cohort and for several sub-groups of the cohort. Tabulations include retention rates to the second through seventh years, and graduation rates after three, four, five, and six years. Retention and graduation rates are provided for transfer students entering from UW-Madison’s two largest transfer partners – Madison College and the UW Colleges.
For the fall 2017 entrance cohort of UW-Madison new transfer students, 90.9% returned to enroll in the fall of 2018. For the fall 2012 entrance cohort (the most recent cohort that has had 6 years to graduate), 84.4% graduated within 6 years and the majority graduated within 3 years of transferring.
- All new transfers
- New transfers entering at the freshman/sophomore level
- New transfers entering at the junior level
- New transfers entering at the senior level
- New transfers entering from Madison College
- New transfers entering from the UW Colleges
- All transfer retention and graduation rates in a single document
Enhanced Retention and Graduation Rates
As a participant in the Student Achievement Measure (SAM), a national initiative to provide a more comprehensive and accurate picture of student progress and completion as students move across institutions and state boundaries, UW-Madison submits and publishes enhanced graduation rates. These rates make use of the enrollment and degree records submitted to the National Student Clearinghouse which can be used to track students who started at UW-Madison but were not retained to the second year or did not graduate within 6 years.
Retention and Graduation Rates for Student Athletes
National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA), Report on Graduation Success Rates of Athletes. Search for Division I Graduation Success Rates on the top of the ride side of the web page.