Zero-Credit Remedial Courses Are Taking Billions of Dollars From Students

DIDN'T KNOW I WASN'T READY FOR THIS: First-year college students across income levels and institutions are spending billions of dollars on remedial coursework, according to a report released today by advocacy group Education Reform Now and publication Education Post. These bought-and-paid-for courses should have been prerequisites for high school graduation. The report claims many students now suffer under fees and indirect opportunity costs for zero-credit catching up. It's expensive to stay in school longer!

This report also dispels the belief that remediation is only for community college or low-income students. In fact, the researchers found that high-income students at private universities take more remedial courses than their low-income counterparts.

Mary Nguyen Barry, co-author of the report, tells the Washington Post that K-12 institutions need to step up to the plate. “No student should be graduating high school unprepared for college." Administrators, including Rick Shaw, dean of Undergraduate Admissions and Financial Aid at Stanford University, are even challenging the typical pathways to college, encouraging bridge years and other gaps as ways to work, prepare and reconsider the next step.

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