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The experiences of college students have been researched for decades. Many scholars have looked at a variety of issues, such as what benefits a college education brings, how and in what ways students develop and mature in college, which kinds of college experiences tend to be positive or negative, and what leads to a person dropping out or leaving college, to name a few. Many theories have emerged over the years that illuminate various aspects of the college experience. Each of them contributes to an overall understanding of a student’s experience in college. Five in particular are very useful in exploring the first-year experience: Chickering’s Seven Vectors of College Student Development, Perry’s Nine Positions of Cognitive Development, Tinto’s Model of Institutional Departure, Kohlberg’s Six Stages of Moral Development, and Schlossberg’s Transition Theory. These five theories, in combination, provide a well-rounded understanding of the general college experience.