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The GW Hatchet


The GW Hatchet

Serving the GW Community since 1904

The GW Hatchet

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Wine bar on 2200 Penn opens doors
By Ella Mitchell, Contributing News Editor • June 14, 2024

Retention rate at all-time high

The percentage of students from the Class of 2013 who decided to return to GW this fall was the highest in University history, despite an increasingly rocky economic landscape.

A record 94 percent of students from the Class of 2013 returned to GW to begin their second year, up from 91.4 percent of the Class of 2012.

The Class of 2013 lost 154 students over the summer, compared to the 209 students who did not return to GW from the Class of 2012. Because the Class of 2013 was 150 students bigger than the Class of 2012 from the start, the retention rate was even higher for the class of 2013. The last time the retention rate increased by more than one percent between two years was in 2003.

Improving the University’s retention rate has been a key priority for administrators. To help students stay at GW, the University has funneled almost $400 million into financial aid over the last three years.

Peter Konwerski, senior associate vice president and dean of students, said the financial aid pool has increased by 47 percent in the past five years. This year, the University doled out a record $145 million in aid, up from $133 million in 2009.

“Particularly in these tough economic times, [the Board of Trustees and President Knapp] have taken great strides to put additional emphasis on affordability,” Konwerski said.

Konwerski said that he and other senior administrators are working to develop Student and Academic Support Services, clinical services, student engagement and outreach, education and prevention resources to keep students from dropping out.

He added that the University is trying to foster bonds between freshmen and the University so students feel comfortable. He said GW has already made strides in these services through interactive Colonial Inauguration student orientations over the summer; student advising programs within each college; small classes including the freshman Dean’s Seminars; and the three-year-old Guide to Personal Success Program.

“[GPS] is an example of an effort we undertook to better connect with first-year students and help them not only navigate the University, but also connect to the campus right from the start,” Konwerski said.

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