Cost of remediation doesn't just impact low-income students

Dive Brief:

  • Nationally, students spend $1.5 billion each year on courses in college that don’t get them any closer to a degree, but teach them what they should have mastered in high school  and almost half of them are from the middle and upper class.
  • LA School Report writes that a new report from Education Reform Now reveals a disconnect between family perceptions of school quality and the actual preparation students are getting in high school, and the problem is broader than most people realize.
  • According to the report's authors, wealthy students who enroll in developmental education at private, non-profit colleges end up taking more classes — and spending more — than their low-income peers, which they say indicates colleges are enrolling underprepared wealthy students because they can pay for the remedial coursework.

Dive Insight:

Improving remedial education has been a focus of colleges across the country for years. Two-year state schools in a handful of states have scaled up corequisite remediation, ensuring every student who tests into developmental education gets to start in a credit-bearing course with additional supports.

Some community colleges have partnered with their feeder high school districts to better prepare students. Elgin Community College in Illinois, for example, has been working with its local high schools through the Alliance for College Readiness, and it launched a Transitions Academy for high schoolers that offers a summer bridge program of sorts. If the preparation problem starts in high school, colleges can work with them to get a head start serving their future students.

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Filed Under: Higher Ed