Though access to higher education in the United States has increased over the past several decades, similar increases in college completion have not followed suit. Despite years of effort, we have, in large measure, been unable to translate the promise increased access affords to students, in particular those of low-income and underserved backgrounds, into the reality of college completion especially as measured by 4-year degrees. That this is the case is reflective in part of our inability to translate what we have learned from research on student retention into a reasonable set of guidelines for the types of actions and policies institution must put into place to increase rates of college completion.

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