High School Graduates Spend Billions on Remedial Courses

We’ve all heard about how common remedial courses are in this day and age, but a new study shows just how often remedial courses are taken and just how much money is being spent on them.

According to a report by Education Reform Now, U.S. high school graduates across the socioeconomic spectrum are spending billions on prerequisite courses in college to make up for classes that weren’t taken (or completed) in high school.

One in four high school graduates across all economic groups who start college spend an average of $3,000 on remedial courses. Higher-income students who attend private 4-year universities on average spend $12,000 on remedial courses in the first year. According to a 2011-12 student aid survey analysis, this amounts to a $1.5 billion total, spent by half a million families in 2011 academic year.

One trend in the study was that remedial courses for unprepared students are not exclusive to low-income families, but instead are taken by the same percentage of middle and high-income students. Regardless of institution type, a similar percentage of students across the economic range are spending money on preparatory courses.

Nate Leese

Nate Leese

Nate Leese is an Emerson College senior journalism student focusing on long term photography projects and visual media. Growing up a third culture kid he enjoys learning about relationships between cultures during times of change.