The Seton Hall retention rate reached a six-year high, with 85.2% of the 2026 class returning as of Sept. 13.
According to the National Student Clearinghouse Research Center, Seton Hall’s retention rate was higher than both the national and New Jersey average last year, which were 73.4% and 73.1% respectively.
Vice President of Student Services Dr. Monica Burnette, said this was “a remarkable achievement.”
“A higher retention rate can indicate that overall, first-year students have had a positive college experience and feel they are part of a supportive, welcoming, and collaborative campus environment,” Burnette said. “We want to see our students through from admission to graduation.”
This was the fourth time Seton Hall’s retention rate exceeded 85% in the last decade, according to the university.
Aya Gusmalseed, a sophomore Diplomacy major in the 3+3 law program, said she thinks the high retention rate shows how “stable a lot of students felt” during their first year.
“I chose Seton Hall because it has great law programs and it’s known for being one of the best schools for networking or finding a job after you graduate,” Gusmalseed said.
Grace Iannacone, a sophomore marketing major, said that while she initially chose Seton Hall for the internship opportunities, it was the people she met that brought her back.
“The friends that I’ve made here, I know I’m never going to stop speaking to them,” Iannacone said. “They’re like my family.”
Dr. Burnette credited the high retention rate to the first-year curriculum which introduces students to the community.
“Our nationally recognized one-credit University Life Course helps first-year students build a sense of belonging, inclusion, and community, through academic and social life skills and participation in community service,” Burnette said.
Dr. Burnette added that the university has increased communication with students“through Friday weekly emails and @hallstudents social media.”
“Student engagement is essential to build community,” Burnette said.
Gusmalseed said she believed students in the class of 2026 valued community and attributed it to the high retention rate.
“There’s a lot of opportunities and organizations students can get involved in on campus,” she said. “Finding that also helps you find your community or sense of people which is what helps you settle into the school better, knowing you have people to support you.”
For the class of 2027, Dr. Burnette said she encourages them to “get involved, stay connected, and seek campus resources to help them succeed academically, socially, spiritually, ethically, emotionally, and personally.”
Dareen Abukwaik can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org