Research Brief
Missed Opportunities and Abandoned Ambitions
Understanding and Combating Student Melt

Every year, hundreds of thousands of current and would-be college students fall through the cracks. For current students, the roadblocks they face as they attempt to remain enrolled continue to present themselves after the abundant freshman year support has fallen away. For incoming students, the final stretch in a college-bound marathon proves to be the most difficult part of the journey, with many failing to cross the finish line.

This brief reviews the current research and best practices to offer a better understanding of what causes these issues, how they contribute to student attrition, and how schools can take action to combat their negative effects to help students persist despite these hurdles.

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