What is one of the most critical components of a tuition-dependent university’s bottom line? Student retention. With many institutions grappling with competitive admissions and declining enrollments, retaining students has never been more essential than it is today.

Acknowledging the importance of keeping students happy and successful, the University of Mary Washington (UMW) initiated a series of innovative and multi-faceted approaches directly addressing and meeting students’ needs, all with the goal of boosting student retention rates.

Founded in 1908 and named for the mother of our country’s founding father, Fredericksburg, Virginia-based UMW has a rich history of traditions and academic excellence. The school’s 340-acre main residential campus, within 50 miles of Washington, D.C., serves approximately 4,400 students, more than a quarter of whom are self-identified minorities. With UMW’s high-impact learning style and 14:1 student/faculty ratio, student support is our mainstay.

3 ways this university is improving student engagement and retention

Related: How our university improved retention by 5 percent

To prepare students for the 21st century workplace, UMW has prioritized technological innovation as key to retaining students and helping them thrive in a rapidly changing digital world. As a result, the university brought on board various technology partners, including higher education managed technology service provider Apogee, to support its student retention efforts in three key ways.

About the Author:

Anna Billingsley is the Associate Vice President for University Relations at the University of Mary Washington.


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