The transition from high school to higher education can be difficult to navigate, leading many college freshmen to not return to campus for their sophomore year, U.S. News reports. Some students drop out completely--for personal, financial, or academic reasons. Others transfer schools to find a better fit. Researching freshman retention rates--the percentage of first year students who return the following year--can give prospective students valuable insight into how new students fare at a particular college or university. Among the 1,377 ranked schools that reported freshman retention data to U.S. News during the 2012 annual survey, the average retention...

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