Higher education is in dire need of a customer retention program. Close to half of all college students never finish the school they started, Forbes reports. A quarter of them don’t return to the same school after freshman year. Taxpayers and legislatures have gotten so frustrated that close to a dozen states have scrapped or are thinking about scrapping traditional reimbursement based on number of students enrolled and switching to schemes based on gains in graduation rates and similar performance measures. A partnership announced today between Knewton, a New York City startup, and Pearson, the world’s biggest publisher of print and online textbooks, may offer some help with this challenge…

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