PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – Record numbers of students started college this fall, but Education Week reports that little more than half will finish. Data showing only 67% retention has motivated new efforts to help students return for a second year.

Money problems, trouble with academics and lack of direction are among reasons why students don’t return and counselors are busy connecting families with financial aid sources, reminding freshmen of test dates, tutoring programs, learning labs and guiding students through the social-transition to college.

Four year and private colleges have highest return rates and there has been a surge at community colleges where the retention rate rose last year to 56%. With the depressed economy, more students start four-year degrees at community colleges.

One University of Massachusetts sophomore relies on his mentor from Bottom Line, a Boston non-profit, to support him. Looking at Philadelphia Futures with its good retention, where mentoring is a large part of the program, it’s a strategy that works.

Reported By Dr. Marciene Mattleman, KYW Newsradio