Posts published on April 14, 2016

Wealthy Students College Remediation Rates Surprisingly High

Wealthy students who enroll in remedial courses at private, nonprofit four-year universities take more remedial classes than low-income students. That trend,  Michael Dannenberg said, likely points to private colleges’ interest in driving enrollment numbers and tuition dollars. While freshmen pay $3,000 on average for remedial coursework in their first year of college, students who attend private, nonprofit four-year institutions pay an extra $12,000.

“For many colleges, admissions and financial aid are about revenue maximization and enrollment management first, and education second,” Dannenberg said. “What is likely happening is that private colleges are seeking out high-paying wealthy students even when they’re less academically qualified than low-income students.”

The report also made mention of the more rigorous Common Core State Standards, which both Education Post and Education Reform Now support, and the opt-out movement that has largely been dominated by affluent white students. Nguyen Barry said the movement to sit out standardized testing illustrates a “disconnect” between perceptions of high school quality and the reality of college preparation.

“We’ve seen over and over again that parents, by and large, think their own schools are doing well but think overall schools nationally are in need of reform,” she said. “We just worry that if that complacency builds or expands, it’s both going to hurt the pocketbooks of the upper middle-class and the wealthy, and it also impedes greater efforts to improve student preparation.”

Hidden High School to College Remediation & Dropout Costs

APRIL 11TH, 2016

By Mary Nguyen Barry and Michael Dannenberg


Check out a fast PowerPoint of our latest report on how half a million college freshmen from all income backgrounds – including middle class and wealthy backgrounds – attending all types of colleges pay an extra $1.5 billion a year out-of-pocket for content they should have learned in high school. Here are all the numbers you need to know in 9 simple charts.