Colleges spend billions to prep freshmen


It’s a tough lesson for millions of students just now arriving on campus: even if you have a high school diploma, you may not be ready for college.
In fact, a new study calculates, one-third of American college students have to enroll in remedial classes. The bill to colleges and taxpayers for trying to bring them up to speed on material they were supposed to learn in high school comes to between $2.3 billion and $2.9 billion annually.
“That is a very large cost, but there is an additional cost and that’s the cost to the students,” said former Colorado governor Roy Romer, chair of the group Strong American Schools, which is issuing the report “Diploma to Nowhere” on Monday. “These students come out of high school really misled. They think they’re prepared. They got a 3.0 and got through the curriculum they needed to get admitted, but they find what they learned wasn’t adequate.”
Christina Jeronimo was an “A” student in high school English, but was placed in a remedial course when she arrived at Long Beach Community College in California. The course was valuable in some ways but frustrating and time-consuming. Now in her third year of community college, she’d hoped to transfer to UCLA by now.
Like many college students, she wishes she’d been worked a little harder in high school.
“There’s a gap,” said Jeronimo, who hopes to study psychology. “The demands of the high school teachers aren’t as great as the demands for college. Sometimes they just baby us.”

2 thoughts on “Colleges spend billions to prep freshmen”

  1. This is about the 30th year for this whine. I can’t understand why colleges complain about this. They have the power to reject unqualified students, but when you ask them why they don’t toughen up their admissions criteria they have no answer, or not one they want to give.
    It’s a very simple matter of greed–get the unqualified student in the door and soak them for a year of extra classes.

  2. I don’t think Donald’s comments hits the mark.
    For those people who believe that the public school system has become mediocre, it is argued that these schools must simply have higher standards, better teachers, better curriculum, more resources, more computers, etc, then it makes sense that colleges, believing the same, also believe that they are more prepared and more dedicated to closing the gap between what the public schools should have taught, and what college students need to know.
    If that is true, I wouldn’t consider that “greedy”, but taking on important responsibilities. If people want and know they need a better education, then there are few alternatives for them. Can’t stay in high school.
    Of course, there are (were) many studies that do show that there are (or had been) many problems with remedial courses. One, many students never graduate to regular course work — they’re majoring in remedial education. Second, the instructors for such courses remain relegated to teaching remedial courses, and don’t get the opportunity for advancement; teaching remedial courses is a dead-end job. Then for such colleges, greed is the driving force.

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