In 200708, about 36 percent of undergraduate students considered to be in their first year reported having ever taken a remedial course, while 20 percent had actually taken one in that same year. At public 2-year institutions, about 42 percent of students had ever taken a remedial course.
Many students enter postsecondary education not fully prepared for college-level work, requiring them to take remedial courses. Remedial courses, usually in mathematics, English, or writing, provide instruction to improve basic knowledge and skills within a subject and to develop studying and social habits related to academic success at the college level.
Students attending postsecondary education part time or not completing the credit accumulation requirements for second-year status could be considered first-year students for more than 1 year. Therefore, there is a distinction between "first-year" students who reported in 200708 that they had "ever" taken a remedial course and those who reported that they had taken one in 200708.
In 200708, approximately 36 percent of first-year undergraduate students reported that they had ever taken a remedial course, and 20 percent of first-year undergraduates reported that they had taken at least one remedial course in the 200708 academic year (see table A-22-1). Some 9 percent of first-year undergraduate students reported that they took one remedial course in 200708, while 7 percent took two, and 4 percent took three or more remedial courses in that year.
A higher percentage of female than male undergraduate students reported in 200708 that they had ever taken a remedial course (39 percent vs. 33 percent) or that they had taken at least one in 200708 (21 percent vs. 19 percent).
In 200708, the percentage of White first-year undergraduates (31 percent) who reported that they had ever taken a remedial course in college was smaller than the percentages of undergraduate students who had in all other racial/ethnic groups, except students of two or more races and students who listed their race as "other." The reported rates of remedial coursetaking for students in these two groups were not measurably different than that of Whites. In addition, higher percentages of Black and Hispanic undergraduate students (45 percent and 43 percent, respectively) than Asian students (38 percent) reported that they had ever taken a remedial course.
There were differences by age group in the percentages of first-year undergraduates who reported in 200708 that they had ever taken a remedial course. The percentage of the youngest students (ages 15 to 23 years old) who reported ever taking a remedial course (35 percent) was smaller than the percentages of students ages 24 to 29 (40 percent) or students 30 years or older (38 percent) who reported doing so.
In 200708, some 42 percent of first-year undergraduate students at public 2-year institutions (typically community colleges) reported having ever taken a remedial college coursea percentage that was higher than students at institutions of any other level or control. For instance, 4-year institutions in the following categories had smaller percentages of first-year students who reported having ever taken a remedial college course: public non-doctorate institutions (39 percent of students), public doctorate institutions (24 percent), private not-for-profit non-doctorate institutions (26 percent), and private not-for-profit doctorate institutions (22 percent).
Data are based on a sample survey of students who enrolled at any time during the school year including those that were not in degree- or certificate-awarding programs. Data include the 50 states, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico. Full time refers to students who attended full time (as defined by the institution) for the full year (at least 9 months). Race categories exclude persons of Hispanic ethnicity. For more information on race/ethnicity, see supplemental note 1. For more information on the National Postsecondary Student Aid Study (NPSAS), see supplemental note 3. Institutions in this indicator are classified based on the number of highest degrees awarded. For example, institutions that award 20 or more doctoral degrees per year are classified as doctoral universities. For more information on the classification of postsecondary institutions, see supplemental note 8.
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