Belmont Abbey College’s mission and vision statements express the Catholic and Benedictine identity of the College together with the goals and expectations that we set for ourselves and for our students. These student achievement outcomes express those goals that stand near the heart of the College as a Benedictine educational institution with a devotion to education in the liberal arts. We find the first important outcome in our retention rate. The first monk at Belmont Abbey arrived in a wagon with the first two students, initiating the academic community on-campus, and a focus on building a community has always been a hallmark of the College. Given that we are committed to offering “an environment and community where students may work towards their own full potential,” the broad measures of retention and persistence are key indicators of our success.

During the last five years at Belmont Abbey College, the average unweighted retention rate of first-time, full-time bachelor’s degree-seeking students who persist from one fall to enroll in the following fall has been 63%. (“First time, full time” is basically new traditional and non-traditional aged full time students without any prior college experience.) Improving retention rates is a continuing goal for the College. The College has a goal is to increase first-year retention rates to above 70% percent and to meet or exceed the median rate of peer institutions.

Each year, outcomes data is reported to the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS).  Belmont Abbey evaluates our outcomes in comparison to similar peers (Private, not-for-profit, baccalaureate level, of similar size (1000-4999 enrollment).  The IPEDS Data Feedback Report provides us with valuable information to help us monitor our progress.

Belmont Abbey College Full-time, First-time Retention Rates (percent of cohort returning)

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Percent of students in first time full time degree/certificate seeking cohort who returned in the Fall term noted from prior Fall.

Source: IPEDS Fall Enrollment Surveys

Retention Rates

Graduation Rates (Persistence)

Other outcomes include our graduation rate as and job placement/graduate school rate, seen as measures of our goal that students may become “a blessing to themselves and others” in the personal and professional aspects of their lives. Liberal arts education has always been focused on the broad education of the whole person, and the College is convinced that our curriculum sends students out with well-formed judgment and sharpened mental vision that will serve them well in all the circumstances of life.

Belmont Abbey College 4, 5, and 6 year Graduation Rate (percent)


Percent of students in first time full time degree/certificate seeking Fall cohort noted that completed within four, five, or six years.

Source: IPEDS Graduation Rates Surveys

The College has set a goal to increase our 150% time to completion (6 year) graduation rate to 50% within 5 years. We also have set a goal to meet or exceed the 6-year graduation rate of our peer institutions identified in the IPEDS Data Feedback Report.