Higher education is at a crossroads. Today, only half of students who enter college in the U.S. actually complete their degree within six years. Many first-generation college students are dropping out.

Research shows that student retention is not just about financial aid and grades—it’s about making students feel connected to the institution, including faculty and peers to help them overcome obstacles that will inevitably come up throughout the college experience.

This research truly resonates when I talk with advisors, many of whom share stories about needing more information to help them understand what’s really happening with the students they are trying to serve. From knowing what social activities a student is engaged in to how often a student is visiting the tutoring center, advisors tell me that having the full picture means they can guide students toward the right choices and get out in front of problems before they emerge.

So how do we help every student succeed?

(Next page: 3 ways to tackle student retention)


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