Are colleges exploiting remedial students?

by Grace

It’s a scam for colleges to accept students unprepared to do college-level work according to Naomi Schaefer Riley.

… colleges are regularly admitting students who aren’t ready for college-level work. In 2012, for instance,of the 250,000 who took the ACT (the main alternative to the SAT), only 52 percent scored as college-ready in reading, only a quarter as ready in reading, English, math and science. Yet many started school anyway.

Results? Well, the University of California reported a couple of years ago that fully half of its freshmen needed remedial work in either English or math.

You can blame the high schools that graduate 18-year-olds without teaching them what they need — but colleges that admit them are hardly innocent.

Remedial students are doubly hurt.  They do not receive college credit for remedial courses, and they are more likely to drop out without ever earning a degree.

Related:  Ohio to stop state funding for college remedial courses (Cost of College)


2 Comments to “Are colleges exploiting remedial students?”

  1. At a UC Berkeley admissions information session earlier this week, the admissions officer made a big point that they only cared about the content of the admissions essays, not the grammar. With that sort of attitude from admissions officers, is it any wonder that remedial courses are needed?


  2. What???? I’m truly flabbergasted to learn this,and I wonder if many other schools do the same thing.

    I remember being surprised to learn that grammar is ignored in some AP tests.

    …in the AP U.S. Government exam the constructed responses are called “free response questions” and are graded by a rubric that is concerned primarily with content and, to a lesser degree, argument. If a student hits the points on the rubric, he or she gets the points for that rubric. There is no consideration of grammar or rhetoric, nor is credit given or a score reduced based on the format of the answer. A student who takes time to construct a clear topic sentence and a proper conclusion gets no credit for those words. Thus, a teacher might prepare the student to answer those questions in a format that is not good writing by any standard. If, as a teacher, you want your students to do their best, you have to have them practice what is effectively bad writing— no introduction, no conclusion, just hit the points of the rubric and provide the necessary factual support. Some critical thinking may be involved, at least, but the approach works against development of the kinds of writing that would be expected in a true college-level course in government and politics.

    A warning to college profs from a high school teacher


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