The Student Voice of Coastal Carolina University



Graduation, retention rates on upward climb

Frances Ludwig

Coastal Carolina University has seen a significant increase in the four-year graduation rate since 2013.  


The most recent four-year graduation rate is 42.9%, as reported by Coastal, from the fall 2019 (FA19) cohort. As of April 4, there are 1,244 graduation applications for the May commencement and 389 for the August 2024 commencement. Out of the 1,244 applications, these students could be from any of the previous cohorts, with most being from the fall 20 cohort consisting of 2,043 first-year students. 


The four-year graduation rate from the FA20 cohort will be posted sometime in the fall, according to James Solazzo, senior associate provost for retention and student completion.  


The FA22 cohort was retained at a record 75.7%.  


“I think the one of the main reasons for that record retention rate is a lot of the different initiatives going on across campus. So, there’s a big effort and a big focus from academic affairs, from student affairs, from housing, campus recreation,” Solazzo said. “So, we saw over a 5% increase in retention from the fall 21 cohort to the fall 22 cohort.”  



Some students may not have thought about the significance of both the graduation and retention rates at different universities, but with graduation approaching, the reality starts to settle in.  


“My professors have told me in the past that if they’re between two candidates when it comes to schools, you know, when you graduate– a lot of the times it is possible that they’re going to choose a school that’s harder to get into, it has [a] better graduation rate. So, it wasn’t something I was thinking about before, it is something I’m thinking about now,” senior Emma Engel said.  


As a parent, Solazzo said it’s important his child attends a university that cares about the success of their students. 


“As a student, as a parent, you want to see that the retention rate is good, and I would say 75.7% or even just above 70% is a good number to see, but also with the graduation rate,” he said.  

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About the Contributor
Frances Ludwig
Frances Ludwig, Art Director
Hi, I’m Frances!  I’m currently a senior BFA art and art history student. I’ve lived everywhere from military bases, the suburbs, to Middle of Nowhere, South Carolina. I enjoy live music, nature walks, and my cat, Tofu. I’m currently building an art movement that I want to continue growing once I graduate. I’m excited to bring my creative vision to The Chanticleer! 

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