ST. JOSEPH/COLLEGEVILLE -- More students are choosing the College of St. Benedict and St. John's University to achieve their career goals.

New student enrollment numbers for both institutions are up this fall. The newly enrolled student total at St. Ben's for this semester is sitting at 519, up 16 students from last fall. For St. John's, this fall they have 465 new students enrolled, which is up four students from the previous year. Combined the schools have seen a two percent increase from last year's total.

Seventeen percent of students in the new class are American students of color and four percent are international students.

St. Ben's total enrollment for fall semester is at 1,915 and St. John's is sitting at 1,706 students. The current student body comes from 39 different states and 21 countries.

The majority of first year students at both St. Ben's and St. John's are deciding to come back for a second year. Retention rates are up one percent from last year, with this fall's rate sitting at 88 percent.

College of St. Benedict and St. John's University's retention rates are about 15-20 percent higher than the national averages for public and private schools.