By Brandon M. Patterson

Olivia Bentley, 20, transferred to Western Michigan University from Grand Valley, her dream school, in her sophomore year. However, Bentley seriously considered returning to Grand Valley after a negative experience during her sophomore year at Western. What kept Bentley here was changing her major to journalism, the promise of graduating early and forging bonds that she hopes to never give up here at Western.

According to research from National Student Clearinghouse Research Center, 73.4 percent of all students that enrolled in a higher institution continued school at any U.S. institution in the fall of 2016. 61.1 percent continue at the same institute that they started at. Bentley is a part of the 61.1 percent.

According to a TedxColumbus featuring Terrell Strayhorn, financial aid and academic factors are not the biggest contributors to the reason why students drop out, but a sense of belonging is. Sense of belonging accounts for 60 percent of student retention rate.

The TedxColumbus video can be seen in the link below.

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