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Educational institutions increasingly recognize the role that student belonging plays in retention. Many studies in this area focus on helping students improve a sense of belonging before they matriculate or identifying belonging as a reason for their departure. This study measures students’ sense of belonging at key transition points during the first year and finds that social belonging and academic performance are both strong predictors of retention that are not necessarily correlated. These results suggest that a comprehensive, focused outreach protocol that encompasses both social and academic factors could have a positive impact on student persistence.