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All at sea and cast adrift?

Every year, tens of thousands of college learners drop out within the first six weeks. And student leaders warn that the most vulnerable among them, such as those from disadvantaged backgrounds, are most likely to quit early. Are colleges doing enough to keep learners from floating away? Julia Belgutay investigates

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The first weeks of a new college course are supposed to be exciting and challenging. This is a time when students are meant to set their sights on their bright new future and the career that lies ahead. But for thousands of them, this is all they will experience of college life. Every year, tens of thousands of students leave within the first six weeks, before their enrolment counts towards a college’s success rates and before the institution receives any funding for them. Often, there is little or no follow-up as to why they dropped out.

According to figures from the Association of Colleges, ...

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