The National Student Clearinghouse, which follows the status of undergraduates at institutions eligible for federal aid, gathers information about the so-called college “persistence" rate. This is the percentage of students who return to college at any institution for their second year. According to the organization's most recent report, of the 3.5 million students who enrolled in college for the first time in fall 2017, 74% returned to any U.S. school the following fall. That means more than 25% did not. Let those statistics sink in. One in four.