Retention and graduation rates reflect the progress of Freshman cohorts through DePaul. Freshman cohorts consist of students who enter DePaul as full-time, first-time, degree-seeking Freshman during the fall quarter of a given academic year. The number of Freshman in these cohorts may differ slightly from the total number of Freshman in other sections of the Fact File because the total number of Freshman in other sections may include a small number of students who are enrolled part-time or as non-degree students.
Cohorts are tracked from fall to fall for six years. Whether a student is enrolled in winter, spring, or summer is not taken into account in this tracking method. This is the national methodology for tracking and reporting Freshman retention and graduation rates.
The retention rate represents the proportion of the original Freshman cohort that enrolled - though not necessarily full-time - during the subsequent fall quarter.
Example: Of the 2,570 Freshman in the 2018 cohort, 85.1% were enrolled during the fall quarter one year later (see Percent Returned in Table 9-1). This is 2,186 Freshman (see Number of Students Returned in Table 9-1).
The graduation rate represents the proportion of a given Freshman cohort that graduated from DePaul by the end of a specific academic year.
Example: Of the 2,422 new Freshman in the 2013 cohort, 60.4% graduated by the end of their fourth academic year (see Percent Graduated in Table 9-2) and 73.8% graduated by the end of their sixth academic year (see Percent Graduated in Table 9-4).
Summer, Fall, Winter, or Spring Degree-Seaking Entrant
Fall + Winter
+ Spring of
2015 / 2016
Fall Quarter 2016
Fall Quarter 2017
Fall Quarter 2018