Posted on 08/22/2014 at 01:27 PM by Liz Determan

As we begin a new school year and consider the programs and supports we have in place to ensure our graduates are career and college ready, I came across some “Fast Facts” from the National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL) that I thought might be important for you to know.

  • The need for remediation is widespread.  When considering all first-time undergraduates, studies have found anywhere from 28 percent to 40 percent of students enroll in at least one remedial course.  When looking at only community college students, several studies have found remediation rates surpassing 50 percent.
  • Low-income, Hispanic and African-American students are more likely to need remediation than their wealthier white peers.  Forty-one percent of Hispanic students and 42 percent of African-American students require remediation, compared to 31 percent of white students.
  • Remediation is costly for states to provide and for students to take.  Strong American Schools estimates the costs of remedial education to states and students at around $2.3 billion each year.
  • Compounding the costs is the fact that remedial students are more likely to drop out of college without a degree.  Less that 50 percent of remedial students complete their recommended remedial courses.  Less than 25 percent of remedial students at community colleges earn a certificate or degree within eight years.
  • Students in remedial reading or math have particularly dismal chances of success.  A U.S. Department of Education study found that 58 percent of students who do not required remediation earn a bachelor’s degree compared to only 17 percent of student enrolled in remedial reading and 27 percent of student enrolled in remedial math.
  • Lowering remediation rates will save money.  The Alliance for Excellent Education suggests that reducing the need for remediation could generate an extra $3.7 billion annually from decreased spending on the delivery of remedial education and increased tax revenue form students who graduate with a [certificate, associates, or] bachelor’s degree.

This information is from “Improving College Completion – Reforming Remedial Education” posted by at on 8/22/14.


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