Student retention – getting you from matriculation to graduation - is very important to Rutgers and its School of Arts & Sciences (SAS). We are committed to the on-going development of programs to optimize success in your academic career, while at our institution. Retention in the first-year is most crucial. Nationwide, as many as 1 in 3 first-year students will not return for sophomore year. The reasons are many, and range from family, educational, and financial struggles to social integration issues that leave students feeling lonely and isolated.

SAS First-Year Retention Programs encourage activities that promote academic and social integration. Our advisors become mentors to the participants, helping them increase their academic skills by promoting academic support programs and services available and by mentoring them on good study and time-management skills. Our programs assist students to regain confidence in their academic capabilities and to feel more integrated at Rutgers.



There are two major programs: First-Year Retention Program (FRP) and Academic Success Seminar (ASSP). All eligible students are automatically enrolled in one of the two programs in the Spring semester of their first year.


The First-Year Retention Programs are a system of retention management measures focused on working with first-year students most in need of academic guidance and support as determined by their first semester performance.

Goals of the First-Year Retention Programs include:

  • Increasing the first-year to sophomore year persistence rate for students with the most severe academic standing deficiencies after a first semester of enrollment.
  • Assist students identified as being at risk, by using a professional assessment tool to determine specific risk factors, and making direct connections with specifically-targeted resources at Rutgers based on those risk factors.


Quotes from students who have benefited from First-Year Retention Programs:

"I think the most helpful part out of [the Freshman Retention Program] was the advisor. Although there are people like that throughout the campuses who are hired to speak with students like myself, it was never an easy step to take for me, until of course I was forced to do it."

"I am satisfied about the program in general, and I am glad I didn’t take it for granted. It helped me learn to speak up and ask questions about my education. So basically this program kind of helped me through a blossoming period."


" meeting with the advisor, I had to effectively break down and understand what went wrong last semester and really look at how to make things better, which I have been doing. Therefore my progress this semester has been tremendous because I am learning to balance everything together and be consistently effective."