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Digest of Education Statistics
2014 Tables and Figures All Years of Tables and Figures Most Recent Full Issue of the Digest


Table 311.40. Percentage of first-year undergraduate students who reported taking remedial education courses, by selected student and institution characteristics: 2003-04, 2007-08, and 2011-12
[Standard errors appear in parentheses]
Selected student or institution characteristic 2003-04 first-year undergraduates1 2007-08 first-year undergraduates1 2011-12 first-year undergraduates1
Percent who took any remedial courses Percent who took specific remedial courses
in 2003-04
Percent who took any remedial courses Total number of students (in thou-sands) Students who took any remedial courses Percent who took specific remedial courses
in 2011-12
Ever In 2003-04 English Mathematics Reading Writing Ever In 2007-08 Percent who ever took Number who took in 2011-12 (in thousands) Percent who took in
2011-12
English Mathematics Reading Writing
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17
Total 34.8 (0.36) 19.2   (0.30) 5.7   (0.21) 14.6   (0.26) 5.6   (0.17) 6.9   (0.18) 36.2 (0.38) 20.0   (0.35) 9,437 32.6   (0.42) 1,864 19.7   (0.36) 10.0   (0.25) 16.2   (0.34) 7.4   (0.23) 7.5   (0.25)
Sex                                                                                    
Male 33.0 (0.53) 18.4   (0.46) 5.6   (0.29) 13.9   (0.41) 5.2   (0.22) 6.6   (0.27) 33.0 (0.53) 19.3   (0.51) 4,079 30.8   (0.61) 811 19.9   (0.55) 10.4   (0.37) 16.0   (0.49) 7.2   (0.32) 7.6   (0.36)
Female 36.2 (0.54) 19.8   (0.39) 5.8   (0.23) 15.1   (0.34) 5.8   (0.24) 7.1   (0.26) 38.7 (0.51) 20.6   (0.46) 5,359 34.0   (0.52) 1,053 19.7   (0.46) 9.7   (0.35) 16.3   (0.43) 7.5   (0.29) 7.4   (0.26)
                                                                                     
Race/ethnicity of student                                                                                    
White 31.7 (0.42) 17.8   (0.35) 4.9   (0.21) 13.5   (0.32) 4.4   (0.18) 6.4   (0.22) 31.3 (0.46) 17.7   (0.41) 4,997 29.4   (0.51) 885 17.7   (0.47) 8.1   (0.33) 14.7   (0.43) 5.8   (0.29) 6.3   (0.29)
Black 41.2 (1.00) 22.4   (0.76) 7.5   (0.52) 17.1   (0.66) 7.8   (0.49) 6.9   (0.44) 45.1 (0.99) 24.4   (0.86) 1,871 37.6   (0.89) 416 22.2   (0.75) 12.8   (0.54) 18.2   (0.72) 10.1   (0.53) 9.2   (0.55)
Hispanic 38.5 (0.91) 21.5   (0.72) 6.6   (0.52) 17.0   (0.66) 7.1   (0.48) 8.3   (0.47) 43.7 (1.12) 23.3   (0.84) 1,728 35.8   (0.99) 388 22.4   (0.81) 11.5   (0.56) 18.7   (0.76) 8.4   (0.46) 8.5   (0.48)
Asian 39.6 (1.72) 17.6   (1.56) 8.2   (1.09) 10.9   (1.19) 7.0   (0.83) 8.4   (0.93) 38.9 (2.05) 20.0   (1.90) 410 37.6   (2.25) 94 23.0   (1.75) 14.6   (1.53) 15.2   (1.19) 11.1   (1.57) 11.5   (1.52)
Pacific Islander 40.8 (5.11) 22.4   (4.55) 10.2 ! (4.18) 19.8   (4.64) 10.1 ! (4.07) 11.3 ! (4.00) 39.9 (4.63) 19.1   (3.90) 46 33.4   (5.16) 7 15.2   (3.50) 9.6 ! (3.15) 11.9   (3.11) 4.2   (1.25) 5.5 ! (1.65)
American Indian/Alaska
     Native
44.8 (4.34) 23.7   (3.10) 3.4   (1.0) 17.3   (2.80) 8.4   (2.28) 8.1   (2.35) 47.9 (4.66) 29.7   (3.88) 106 34.9   (4.11) 21 19.8   (2.79) 10.2   (2.03) 17.4   (2.79) 9.0   (2.03) 7.1   (1.71)
Two or more races 33.9 (2.02) 20.9   (1.80) 4.7   (0.90) 14.8   (1.48) 4.9   (0.98) 6.5   (1.12) 32.3 (2.29) 20.4   (2.06) 280 29.8   (2.02) 53 19.0   (1.68) 9.8   (1.56) 15.4   (1.58) 5.5   (1.01) 5.7   (0.91)
Other 31.1 (2.78) 17.3   (2.34) 5.0   (1.35) 14.3   (2.12) 6.1   (1.30) 6.9   (1.63) 35.2 (6.00) 21.7   (5.11)   (†)   (†)   (†)   (†)   (†)   (†)
                                                                                     
Age                                                                                    
15 to 23 33.7 (0.41) 21.5   (0.39) 6.6   (0.28) 16.1   (0.35) 6.4   (0.22) 8.2   (0.22) 34.5 (0.46) 22.0   (0.43) 5,549 31.0   (0.49) 1,169 21.1   (0.38) 10.6   (0.30) 17.3   (0.36) 7.6   (0.24) 7.7   (0.28)
24 to 29 35.0 (0.99) 16.0   (0.78) 4.3   (0.41) 12.8   (0.65) 4.0   (0.40) 5.0   (0.55) 39.7 (0.98) 19.5   (0.86) 1,618 34.4   (1.12) 278 17.2   (0.91) 8.3   (0.61) 14.2   (0.86) 6.4   (0.55) 6.4   (0.52)
30 or older 37.6 (0.87) 15.6   (0.52) 4.5   (0.35) 12.1   (0.51) 4.4   (0.32) 4.7   (0.31) 38.1 (0.84) 15.2   (0.68) 2,270 35.4   (0.94) 417 18.4   (0.82) 9.7   (0.53) 14.9   (0.73) 7.6   (0.57) 7.7   (0.56)
                                                                                     
Attendance status                                                                                    
Exclusively full-time 31.4 (0.45) 19.1   (0.37) 5.7   (0.22) 14.1   (0.35) 5.6   (0.23) 7.5   (0.24) 31.4 (0.52) 19.4   (0.46) 4,774 28.1   (0.48) 840 17.6   (0.41) 9.1   (0.28) 14.2   (0.41) 6.6   (0.27) 6.7   (0.26)
Exclusively part-time 37.5 (0.65) 17.9   (0.51) 5.3   (0.31) 14.0   (0.47) 5.0   (0.28) 5.6   (0.28) 39.8 (0.71) 19.0   (0.59) 3,280 37.4   (0.81) 699 21.3   (0.78) 10.3   (0.50) 17.7   (0.71) 7.7   (0.43) 7.9   (0.50)
Mixed full- and part-time 41.1 (0.97) 23.7   (0.85) 7.1   (0.56) 18.7   (0.81) 7.1   (0.48) 8.3   (0.45) 42.6 (0.98) 26.3   (0.93) 1,383 37.0   (0.95) 324 23.4   (0.74) 12.2   (0.57) 19.5   (0.71) 9.3   (0.53) 9.1   (0.50)
                                                                                     
Student housing status                                                                                    
On-campus 24.5 (0.70) 16.8   (0.56) 4.8   (0.31) 11.3   (0.49) 4.8   (0.31) 8.2   (0.40) 23.2 (0.84) 17.1   (0.76) 1,055 17.9   (0.78) 148 14.1   (0.67) 6.5   (0.48) 10.9   (0.58) 3.9   (0.37) 5.0   (0.46)
Off-campus 35.9 (0.58) 17.0   (0.40) 5.1   (0.30) 13.4   (0.35) 4.6   (0.22) 5.5   (0.28) 37.2 (0.57) 17.8   (0.49) 4,326 34.0   (0.65) 846 19.6   (0.63) 9.7   (0.41) 15.9   (0.58) 7.8   (0.41) 7.8   (0.43)
With parents or relatives 37.9 (0.59) 24.5   (0.61) 7.1   (0.36) 18.5   (0.53) 7.7   (0.35) 8.7   (0.37) 39.6 (0.78) 25.2   (0.66) 3,462 35.3   (0.78) 768 22.2   (0.61) 11.6   (0.43) 18.5   (0.56) 8.2   (0.37) 8.1   (0.42)
Attended more than one
     institution
36.5 (1.18) 18.3   (0.98) 6.4   (0.59) 14.5   (0.98) 5.0   (0.48) 6.2   (0.48) 36.1 (1.11) 20.2   (0.97) 594 32.7   (1.09) 101 17.0   (0.95) 8.9   (0.77) 14.1   (0.86) 5.7   (0.56) 6.3   (0.62)
                                                                                     
Dependency status                                                                                    
Dependent 33.4 (0.45) 22.1   (0.41) 6.6   (0.27) 16.4   (0.36) 6.5   (0.24) 8.6   (0.23) 34.4 (0.51) 22.8   (0.46) 4,543 31.2   (0.53) 1,001 22.0   (0.42) 11.0   (0.34) 17.9   (0.41) 8.0   (0.27) 8.1   (0.31)
Independent 36.4 (0.61) 16.1   (0.39) 4.8   (0.27) 12.7   (0.37) 4.5   (0.23) 5.0   (0.26) 38.1 (0.59) 17.1   (0.51) 4,894 33.9   (0.57) 863 17.6   (0.52) 9.0   (0.34) 14.5   (0.50) 6.8   (0.34) 6.9   (0.30)
                                                                                     
Veteran status                                                                                    
Veteran 35.9 (2.33) 13.2   (1.52) 1.9   (0.51) 9.9   (1.40) 3.2   (0.68) 4.3   (0.84) 35.8 (2.36) 17.1   (2.08) 310 31.4   (2.21) 54 17.4   (1.74) 8.5   (1.22) 15.9   (1.67) 3.3   (0.68) 5.2   (0.97)
Not veteran 34.8 (0.38) 19.4   (0.31) 5.8   (0.22) 14.8   (0.27) 5.7   (0.18) 7.0   (0.18) 36.2 (0.38) 20.1   (0.36) 9,127 32.7   (0.42) 1,809 19.8   (0.37) 10.1   (0.26) 16.2   (0.35) 7.5   (0.24) 7.6   (0.25)
                                                                                     
Field of study                                                                                    
Business/management 36.4 (1.00) 19.6   (0.97) 5.5   (0.41) 14.7   (1.01) 6.0   (0.44) 7.3   (0.61) 37.0 (1.13) 21.7   (1.06) 1,203 32.7   (1.11) 238 19.8   (0.85) 10.5   (0.72) 15.3   (0.75) 8.7   (0.66) 8.2   (0.60)
Computer science 33.7 (1.59) 19.2   (1.39) 4.7   (0.67) 14.7   (1.27) 5.3   (0.82) 5.6   (0.73) 34.7 (2.28) 19.8   (1.77) 402 29.3   (1.69) 70 17.4   (1.40) 8.9   (1.14) 14.0   (1.29) 6.2   (1.02) 6.8   (1.16)
Education 41.5 (1.61) 23.1   (1.14) 6.3   (0.74) 17.6   (1.03) 6.4   (0.72) 8.8   (0.86) 40.3 (1.90) 23.0   (1.48) 387 36.0   (1.84) 84 21.6   (1.53) 10.6   (1.08) 16.4   (1.23) 7.9   (1.03) 7.2   (0.90)
Engineering 30.9 (1.79) 16.6   (1.41) 5.6   (0.77) 12.9   (1.26) 4.8   (0.77) 6.8   (0.91) 33.0 (1.81) 19.0   (1.57) 409 33.1   (1.88) 86 20.9   (1.63) 11.0   (1.22) 15.4   (1.33) 7.9   (1.23) 9.1   (1.22)
Health 37.0 (0.83) 19.7   (0.68) 6.1   (0.48) 15.5   (0.63) 5.7   (0.43) 6.2   (0.50) 38.6 (2.49) 18.9   (4.49) 2,023 34.6   (0.74) 381 18.8   (0.70) 9.1   (0.55) 16.7   (0.67) 6.7   (0.45) 6.7   (0.39)
Humanities 34.0 (1.29) 18.8   (0.94) 5.6   (0.46) 14.2   (0.87) 5.0   (0.52) 7.3   (0.52) 31.2 (1.94) 20.5   (1.77) 1,776 36.6   (1.03) 424 23.9   (0.91) 11.7   (0.60) 19.6   (0.80) 8.9   (0.62) 8.9   (0.60)
Life sciences 31.2 (1.81) 19.7   (1.72) 5.7   (1.29) 14.6   (1.47) 5.4   (1.21) 7.9   (1.20) 31.2 (6.21) 20.5 ! (8.64) 416 26.7   (1.71) 75 17.9   (1.11) 9.1   (0.92) 14.2   (1.01) 6.4   (0.89) 7.1   (0.82)
Mathematics 23.0 (5.55) 11.0 ! (4.43)   (†) 9.3 ! (4.26)   (†)   (†) 41.1 (6.31) 15.6 ! (5.20) 24 14.3 ! (4.57) 8.4 ! (2.81) 4.6 ! (2.26) 7.6 ! (2.67)   (†) 6.2 ! (2.51)
Physical sciences 24.0 (4.39) 12.9   (3.49) 7.5 ! (2.85) 5.3 ! (2.13) 6.4 ! (3.05)   (†) 24.5 (4.31) 15.7   (3.92) 58 29.2   (4.72) 14 24.7   (4.59) 17.2   (4.25) 20.8   (4.24) 8.9 ! (3.16) 13.6   (3.98)
Social/behavioral sciences 33.2 (2.08) 19.4   (1.57) 5.5   (0.90) 14.5   (1.39) 6.5   (1.01) 8.7   (1.05) 35.0 (2.16) 23.4   (1.94) 392 27.7   (1.87) 78 19.8   (1.38) 9.1   (0.87) 16.6   (1.37) 6.0   (0.88) 7.6   (0.79)
Vocational/technical 38.5 (2.11) 18.3   (1.60) 5.0   (0.86) 14.5   (1.40) 5.6   (1.0) 4.7   (0.61) 31.1 (1.93) 15.7   (1.78) 431 26.9   (1.94) 68 15.7   (1.59) 7.6   (1.12) 13.0   (1.56) 5.9   (0.85) 5.7   (1.02)
Undeclared 33.6 (0.67) 19.2   (0.59) 6.0   (0.38) 14.5   (0.49) 5.2   (0.33) 7.2   (0.38) 35.8 (1.29) 20.0   (1.14) 299 31.8   (2.10) 66 22.0   (1.86) 10.7   (1.53) 17.4   (1.68) 7.9   (1.41) 6.6   (1.13)
Other 33.3 (1.49) 18.0   (1.06) 5.3   (0.67) 13.6   (0.94) 6.2   (0.57) 5.9   (0.56) 34.6 (1.23) 18.5   (0.97) 1,350 29.3   (0.94) 225 16.7   (0.77) 9.4   (0.64) 13.9   (0.70) 6.4   (0.52) 6.7   (0.56)
                                                                                     
Type of institution                                                                                    
  Public less-than-2-year 30.6 (1.85) 10.9   (1.09) 4.8   (0.80) 9.3   (1.05) 4.0   (0.86) 3.9   (0.90) 31.9 (1.99) 9.0   (0.89) 58 30.2   (6.13) 7 12.2 ! (3.86) 8.5 ! (4.11) 10.5 ! (3.34) 6.5 ! (3.19) 1.6 ! (0.75)
  Public 2-year 41.4 (0.59) 23.0   (0.47) 6.9   (0.33) 18.3   (0.42) 7.1   (0.28) 7.2   (0.27) 41.8 (0.54) 23.7   (0.48) 5,038 40.3   (0.67) 1,289 25.6   (0.64) 13.2   (0.43) 21.0   (0.60) 10.3   (0.38) 9.7   (0.41)
  Public 4-year nondoctorate 34.2 (1.77) 21.4   (1.12) 5.3   (0.61) 16.3   (1.05) 5.2   (0.56) 8.5   (0.63) 38.9 (1.24) 25.4   (1.14) 817 37.8   (2.12) 198 24.3   (1.30) 10.2   (0.79) 20.4   (1.25) 6.9   (0.78) 7.9   (0.88)
  Public 4-year doctorate 25.7 (1.11) 16.3   (0.64) 4.4   (0.34) 11.7   (0.60) 3.9   (0.39) 8.1   (0.42) 25.0 (1.03) 17.8   (0.86) 893 21.9   (0.84) 139 15.6   (0.80) 6.8   (0.47) 12.8   (0.71) 3.5   (0.33) 4.5   (0.45)
  Private nonprofit less-
     than-4-year
31.3 (2.06) 12.9   (1.89) 4.5   (1.03) 10.2   (1.49) 2.8   (0.82) 5.0   (1.27) 30.3 (3.75) 10.2   (2.81) 58 22.3   (4.25) 6 9.4 ! (3.42) 5.9   (1.73) 8.1 ! (2.86)   (†) 3.5 ! (1.64)
 Private nonprofit 4-year
     nondoctorate
26.0 (1.16) 14.7   (0.78) 5.3   (0.68) 9.5   (0.58) 4.0   (0.41) 6.7   (0.76) 25.5 (1.74) 16.6   (1.46) 375 24.4   (1.66) 58 15.3   (1.23) 7.8   (1.04) 10.9   (1.06) 4.9   (0.77) 7.0   (0.97)
 Private nonprofit 4-year
     doctorate
18.3 (1.67) 11.6   (1.39) 2.4   (0.54) 7.4   (1.37) 2.9   (0.57) 6.3   (0.91) 22.1 (1.70) 12.6   (1.38) 356 14.6   (1.85) 34 9.6   (1.24) 4.0   (0.65) 7.3   (1.26) 3.4 ! (1.03) 4.2   (0.70)
  Private for-profit
     less-than-2-year
24.1 (0.50) 7.8   (0.23) 3.1   (0.18) 4.6   (0.16) 2.2   (0.19) 3.5   (0.22) 26.5 (1.02) 5.5   (0.51) 402 16.7   (0.74) 15 3.8   (0.56) 2.2   (0.39) 3.4   (0.57) 1.9   (0.46) 1.7   (0.39)
  Private for-profit 2 years
     or more
25.4 (1.63) 11.7   (1.04) 4.1   (0.51) 7.5   (0.75) 3.3   (0.45) 4.9   (0.71) 28.8 (1.46) 11.3   (1.20) 1,439 20.9   (0.74) 118 8.2   (0.37) 5.2   (0.34) 6.6   (0.36) 3.2   (0.24) 4.3   (0.29)
—Not available.
†Not applicable.
!Interpret data with caution. The coefficient of variation (CV) for this estimate is between 30 and 50 percent.
‡Reporting standards not met. The coefficient of variation (CV) is 50 percent or greater.
1 Student status was determined by accumulation of credits. 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 one year.
NOTE: Data are based on a sample survey of students who enrolled at any time during the school year. Percentages of students who took remedial courses are based on student reports. Data exclude Puerto Rico. Detail may not sum to totals because of survey item nonresponse and rounding. Race categories exclude persons of Hispanic ethnicity. Some data have been revised from previously published figures.
SOURCE: U.S. Department of Education, National Center for Education Statistics, 2003-04, 2007-08, and 2011-12 National Postsecondary Student Aid Study (NPSAS:04, NPSAS:08, and NPSAS:12). (This table was prepared August 2014.)

2014 Tables and Figures All Years of Tables and Figures Most Recent Full Issue of the Digest