Dr. Joshua Hawley and Olga Kondratjeva discuss the phenomenon of student attrition in the context of U.S. and Russian public universities. The study applies the academic momentum perspective to understand which factors influence students’ movement through higher education. Academic momentum, defined empirically as measures representing student enrollment and study progress, such as no delay in college enrollment, reporting major upon the entrance to college, higher course load in the first term, no enrollment in developmental courses, first-term academic performance and changes in grades over time, is used in a discrete time survival analysis model separately in a sample of Russian and U.S. universities (in the case of Ohio public universities). Our primary finding demonstrates that most of selected measures of academic momentum have expected relationships with the likelihood to leave university, which is consistent with our hypothesis that higher speed at which students’ progress through their studies is associated with lower attrition rate. The academic momentum framework provides a fertile ground for study of attrition phenomenon in the international context. Practical contributions to Russian and U.S. tertiary educational policy are discussed.