Kokomo Tribune; Kokomo, Indiana

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April 17, 2012

Report: 31% not ready for college

Remedial courses cost students time, money.

Indianapolis — Indiana high schools are sending thousands of students to college without them being college-ready, according to a new report released by the Indiana Commission on Higher Education.

The report, released Monday, shows almost one-third of all Indiana high school graduates who attended the state’s public colleges and universities had to take remedial courses in math and/or English before they could take college-level courses.

The report offers a snapshot of almost every public and private high school in Indiana, showing which schools graduated more students ready for college than others.

Available online at www.che.in. gov (under College Readiness Reports), it shows information for 2010 high school graduates who were enrolled in public colleges and universities in Indiana for the 2010-2011 school year.

It also shows that even students who earned the college-prep “Core 40” degree – which requires three years of high school math and four years of high school English – needed help: 39 percent had to take remedial courses in college to catch up on what they should have learned in high school.

The report also shows that 7 percent of Indiana high school students who graduated with an academic honors diploma – the highest level earned – had to enroll in remedial courses once they arrived at college.

Those numbers equate to money: College students who have to take remedial courses get no college credit for the coursework but have to pay the same tuition rate they’d pay for credit-earning courses that get them closer to a degree.

That means delay and more debt for students – two critical factors that keep college students from completing their degree on time, said Higher Education Commissioner Teresa Lubbers.

“What we know is that too many people in Indiana who are entering college are not succeeding and not graduating,” Lubbers said. “Too many of them are coming in not prepared for college-level work.”

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