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Digest of Education Statistics
2022 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: Selected academic years, 2003-04 through 2019-20
[Standard errors appear in parentheses]
Selected student or
institution characteristic
Percent of 2003-04
first-year
undergraduates1 who
took any remedial
courses
Percent of 2007-08
first-year
undergraduates1 who
took any remedial
courses
Percent of 2011-12
first-year
undergraduates1 who
took any remedial
courses
Percent of 2015-16
first-year
undergraduates1 who
took any remedial
courses
2019-20 first-year undergraduates1
Total
number of
students2
(in
thousands)
Students who took any remedial
courses
Percent who took specific
remedial courses in 2019-20
Ever In 2003-04 Ever In 2007-08 Ever In 2011-12 Ever In 2015-16 Percent who ever took Number who
took in
2019-20 (in
thousands)
Percent who
took in
2019-20
Mathematics Reading/
writing
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15
     Total 34.8 (0.36) 19.2 (0.30) 36.2 (0.38) 20.0 (0.35) 32.6 (0.42) 19.7 (0.36) 43.0 (0.58) 19.2 (0.43) 5,578 31.4 (0.54) 858 15.4 (0.35) 65.4 (1.05) 52.1 (1.07)
Gender
  Male 33.0 (0.53) 18.4 (0.46) 33.0 (0.53) 19.3 (0.51) 30.8 (0.61) 19.9 (0.55) 40.7 (0.82) 19.1 0 (0.67) 2,278 28.2 (0.67) 318 13.9 (0.47) 63.4 (1.75) 53.7 (1.89)
  Female 36.2 (0.54) 19.8 (0.39) 38.7 (0.51) 20.6 (0.46) 34.0 (0.52) 19.7 (0.46) 44.8 (0.66) 19.3 0 (0.50) 3,227 33.8 (0.74) 530 16.4 (0.48) 66.2 (1.27) 51.2 (1.32)
  Nonbinary3 --- (†) --- (†) --- (†) --- (†) --- (†) --- (†) --- (†) --- (†) 74 27.0 (3.73) 10 13.8 (2.80) 88.5 (5.96) 49.7 (10.13)

Race/ethnicity




































  American Indian/Alaska 
     Native

44.8

(4.34)

23.7


(3.10)

47.9

(4.66)

29.7


(3.88)

34.9


(4.11)

19.8


(2.79)

50.1


(5.64)

23.8

0

(4.98)

75

30.6


(4.06)

11

14.8


(2.77)

73.4


(10.99)

71.0


(15.45)
  Asian 39.6 (1.72) 17.6 (1.56) 38.9 (2.05) 20.0 (1.90) 37.6 (2.25) 23.0 (1.75) 45.4 (1.83) 19.8 0 (1.48) 381 30.1 (1.55) 50 13.0 (1.11) 52.2 (4.68) 63.4 (4.81)
  Black 41.2 (1.00) 22.4 (0.76) 45.1 (0.99) 24.4 (0.86) 37.6 (0.89) 22.2 (0.75) 48.7 (1.05) 20.6 0 (0.78) 922 37.9 (1.46) 165 17.9 (0.89) 68.6 (2.30) 53.3 (2.46)
  Hispanic 38.5 (0.91) 21.5 (0.72) 43.7 (1.12) 23.3 (0.84) 35.8 (0.99) 22.4 (0.81) 47.7 (0.97) 23.0 0 (0.98) 1,308 37.5 (1.11) 251 19.2 (0.70) 65.9 (2.05) 52.8 (1.92)
  Pacific Islander 40.8 (5.11) 22.4 (4.55) 39.9 (4.63) 19.1 (3.90) 33.4 (5.16) 15.2 (3.50) 43.7 (6.07) 21.8 0 (5.04) 40 31.1 (5.90) 13.9 (3.99) (†) (†)
  White 31.7 (0.42) 17.8 (0.35) 31.3 (0.46) 17.7 (0.41) 29.4 (0.51) 17.7 (0.47) 38.3 (0.76) 16.8 0 (0.48) 2,380 26.9 (0.64) 316 13.3 (0.51) 64.4 (1.67) 49.9 (1.72)
  Two or more races 33.9 (2.02) 20.9 (1.80) 32.3 (2.29) 20.4 (2.06) 29.8 (2.02) 19.0 (1.68) 41.1 (2.28) 18.1 0 (1.79) 472 26.2 (1.84) 59 12.5 (1.15) 71.3 (4.37) 45.6 (4.46)
  Other 31.1 (2.78) 17.3 (2.34) 35.2 (6.00) 21.7 (5.11) --- (†) --- (†) --- (†) --- (†) --- --- (†) --- --- (†) --- (†) --- (†)

Age




































  15 to 23 33.7 (0.41) 21.5 (0.39) 34.5 (0.46) 22.0 (0.43) 31.0 (0.49) 21.1 (0.38) 41.0 (0.70) 19.5 0 (0.52) 3,505 29.6 (0.57) 554 15.8 (0.38) 67.4 (1.27) 55.4 (1.30)
  24 to 29 35.0 (0.99) 16.0 (0.78) 39.7 (0.98) 19.5 (0.86) 34.4 (1.12) 17.2 (0.91) 47.4 (1.17) 18.9 0 (0.94) 924 33.6 (1.37) 125 13.5 (0.81) 61.3 (3.34) 48.6 (3.38)
  30 or older 37.6 (0.87) 15.6 (0.52) 38.1 (0.84) 15.2 (0.68) 35.4 (0.94) 18.4 (0.82) 45.1 (1.06) 18.8 0 (0.81) 1,150 35.4 (1.46) 180 15.6 (0.87) 62.2 (2.53) 44.5 (2.72)

Attendance status




































  Full-time, full-year4 31.4 (0.45) 19.1 (0.37) 31.4 (0.52) 19.4 (0.46) 28.1 (0.48) 17.6 (0.41) 36.7 (0.78) 16.9 0 (0.58) 2,786 26.6 (0.64) 367 13.2 (0.41) 66.1 (1.41) 53.4 (1.51)
  Part-time only, for only 
     part of year

37.5

(0.65)

17.9


(0.51)

39.8

(0.71)

19.0


(0.59)

37.4


(0.81)

21.3


(0.78)

47.7


(0.92)

20.3

0

(0.74)

1,661

36.9


(1.03)

286

17.2


(0.75)

59.5


(2.26)

48.5


(2.13)
  Mixed attendance status5 41.1 (0.97) 23.7 (0.85) 42.6 (0.98) 26.3 (0.93) 37.0 (0.95) 23.4 (0.74) 47.4 (0.97) 22.2 0 (0.83) 1,131 35.4 (1.09) 206 18.2 (0.76) 72.6 (1.88) 54.9 (2.02)

Housing status




































  On-campus 24.5 (0.70) 16.8 (0.56) 23.2 (0.84) 17.1 (0.76) 17.9 (0.78) 14.1 (0.67) 24.7 (1.26) 13.0 0 (0.89) 831 17.8 (0.71) 86 10.3 (0.54) 68.1 (2.74) 58.3 (2.86)
  Off-campus, not with 
     parents or relatives

35.9

(0.58)

17.0


(0.40)

37.2

(0.57)

17.8


(0.49)

34.0


(0.65)

19.6


(0.63)

45.9


(0.78)

18.9

0

(0.58)

2,304

34.4


(0.98)

368

16.0


(0.61)

64.2


(1.73)

48.3


(1.75)
  Off-campus, with parents 
     or relatives

37.9

(0.59)

24.5


(0.61)

39.6

(0.78)

25.2


(0.66)

35.3


(0.78)

22.2


(0.61)

47.6


(1.04)

23.7

0

(0.79)

1,804

36.1


(0.80)

328

18.2


(0.56)

66.4


(1.59)

54.7


(1.65)
  Attended more than one
     institution6

36.5

(1.18)

18.3


(0.98)

36.1

(1.11)

20.2


(0.97)

32.7


(1.09)

17.0


(0.95)

36.0


(1.07)

14.2

0

(0.81)

639

25.4


(1.16)

76

11.9


(0.72)

64.4


(3.04)

52.4


(2.99)

Dependency status




































  Dependent 33.4 (0.45) 22.1 (0.41) 34.4 (0.51) 22.8 (0.46) 31.2 (0.53) 22.0 (0.42) 39.5 (0.77) 19.5 0 (0.55) 3,112 29.0 (0.56) 481 15.5 (0.40) 67.2 (1.41) 55.7 (1.35)
  Independent 36.4 (0.61) 16.1 (0.39) 38.1 (0.59) 17.1 (0.51) 33.9 (0.57) 17.6 (0.52) 46.5 (0.76) 19.0 0 (0.55) 2,466 34.6 (0.95) 377 15.3 (0.55) 63.2 (1.74) 47.5 (1.83)

Veteran status




































  Veteran 35.9 (2.33) 13.2 (1.52) 35.8 (2.36) 17.1 (2.08) 31.4 (2.21) 17.4 (1.74) 43.9 (2.08) 17.1 0 (1.53) 191 26.6 (2.94) 21 10.8 (1.62) 87.6 (4.05) 41.3 (8.26)
  Not veteran 34.8 (0.38) 19.4 (0.31) 36.2 (0.38) 20.1 (0.36) 32.7 (0.42) 19.8 (0.37) 43.0 (0.58) 19.3 0 (0.43) 5,388 31.6 (0.56) 838 15.5 (0.36) 64.9 (1.07) 52.4 (1.03)

Field of study7




































  Business/management 36.4 (1.00) 19.6 (0.97) 37.0 (1.13) 21.7 (1.06) 32.7 (1.11) 19.8 (0.85) 42.6 (1.37) 18.2 0 (0.95) 707 29.8 (1.63) 92 13.0 (1.02) 69.3 (3.21) 56.2 (3.23)
  Computer/information science 33.7 (1.59) 19.2 (1.39) 34.7 (2.28) 19.8 (1.77) 29.3 (1.69) 17.4 (1.40) 41.0 (2.14) 19.4 0 (1.78) 295 34.4 (2.05) 48 16.3 (1.59) 67.2 (4.69) 58.4 (4.86)
  Education 41.5 (1.61) 23.1 (1.14) 40.3 (1.90) 23.0 (1.48) 36.0 (1.84) 21.6 (1.53) 46.6 (2.33) 22.1 0 (1.91) 269 36.4 (2.09) 45 16.8 (1.61) 68.7 (4.53) 54.5 (4.96)
  Engineering 30.9 (1.79) 16.6 (1.41) 33.0 (1.81) 19.0 (1.57) 33.1 (1.88) 20.9 (1.63) 38.6 (2.02) 17.8 0 (1.66) 285 26.4 (1.74) 38 13.4 (1.43) 64.8 (4.85) 50.7 (4.47)
  Health 37.0 (0.83) 19.7 (0.68) 38.6 (2.49) 18.9 (4.49) 34.6 (0.74) 18.8 (0.70) 46.5 (1.09) 19.1 0 (0.87) 1,116 35.8 (1.33) 184 16.5 (0.77) 68.4 (2.43) 49.5 (2.43)
  Humanities 34.0 (1.29) 18.8 (0.94) 31.2 (1.94) 20.5 (1.77) 36.6 (1.03) 23.9 (0.91) 46.8 (1.13) 20.5 0 (0.97) 886 34.5 (1.04) 177 20.0 (0.84) 63.5 (2.11) 50.3 (2.18)
  Life sciences 31.2 (1.81) 19.7 (1.72) 31.2 (6.21) 20.5 ! (8.64) 26.7 (1.71) 17.9 (1.11) 36.4 (2.03) 18.0 0 (1.56) 303 27.8 (1.43) 44 14.5 (1.14) 61.2 (4.86) 54.3 (4.31)
  Mathematics 23.0 (5.55) 11.0 ! (4.43) 41.1 (6.31) 15.6 ! (5.20) 14.3 ! (4.57) 8.4 ! (2.81) 36.4 (7.45) 13.2 ! (4.85) 21 22.0 (5.21) 7.4 ! (2.59) (†) (†)
  Multi/interdisciplinary 
     studies

---

(†)

---


(†)

---

(†)

---


(†)

---


(†)

---


(†)

---


(†)

---


(†)

72

30.9


(3.90)

11

14.8


(2.64)

63.7


(12.63)

59.8


(12.33)
  Physical sciences 24.0 (4.39) 12.9 (3.49) 24.5 (4.31) 15.7 (3.92) 29.2 (4.72) 24.7 (4.59) 37.2 (6.96) 15.4 0 (3.50) 38 24.6 (3.65) 6 15.2 (3.87) 62.7 (15.37) 53.9 (15.57)
  Social/behavioral sciences 33.2 (2.08) 19.4 (1.57) 35.0 (2.16) 23.4 (1.94) 27.7 (1.87) 19.8 (1.38) 42.4 (2.23) 19.2 0 (1.61) 334 26.6 (1.50) 42 12.6 (1.07) 68.7 (3.68) 48.0 (4.01)
  Vocational/technical 38.5 (2.11) 18.3 (1.60) 31.1 (1.93) 15.7 (1.78) 26.9 (1.94) 15.7 (1.59) 33.0 (2.32) 15.3 0 (1.64) 228 23.1 (2.09) 23 9.9 (1.36) 64.2 (5.38) 47.4 (6.12)
  Undeclared 33.6 (0.67) 19.2 (0.59) 35.8 (1.29) 20.0 (1.14) 31.8 (2.10) 22.0 (1.86) 45.0 (2.56) 25.8 0 (2.15) 91 23.1 (2.68) 12 13.4 (2.32) 64.0 (9.50) 63.7 (8.34)
  Other 33.3 (1.49) 18.0 (1.06) 34.6 (1.23) 18.5 (0.97) 29.3 (0.94) 16.7 (0.77) 42.6 (1.36) 18.7 0 (1.01) 741 31.1 (1.24) 103 13.8 (0.93) 69.2 (2.81) 58.4 (3.19)

Control and level of 
   institution




































  Public
    4-year doctorate 25.7 (1.11) 16.3 (0.64) 25.0 (1.03) 17.8 (0.86) 21.9 (0.84) 15.6 (0.80) 26.2 (1.35) 11.7 0 (0.93) 754 21.1 (1.17) 80 10.6 (0.76) 66.7 (3.42) 49.5 (2.78)
    4-year nondoctorate 34.2 (1.77) 21.4 (1.12) 38.9 (1.24) 25.4 (1.14) 37.8 (2.12) 24.3 (1.30) 44.4 (1.92) 18.1 0 (1.28) 832 38.9 (1.07) 165 19.8 (0.91) 67.7 (2.75) 51.5 (3.25)
    2-year 41.4 (0.59) 23.0 (0.47) 41.8 (0.54) 23.7 (0.48) 40.3 (0.67) 25.6 (0.64) 52.5 (0.76) 25.3 0 (0.63) 2,691 38.2 (0.83) 537 20.0 (0.60) 65.2 (1.40) 52.1 (1.20)
    Less-than-2-year 30.6 (1.85) 10.9 (1.09) 31.9 (1.99) 9.0 (0.89) 30.2 (6.13) 12.2 ! (3.86) 33.0 (3.85) 10.9 0 (1.54) 39 18.6 (3.45) 2 4.8 ! (1.65) 42.0 ! (17.06) 41.3 (12.34)
  Private nonprofit
    4-year doctorate 18.3 (1.67) 11.6 (1.39) 22.1 (1.70) 12.6 (1.38) 14.6 (1.85) 9.6 (1.24) 21.8 (1.71) 9.2 0 (1.07) 359 15.4 (2.30) 21 5.8 (0.67) 65.8 (6.10) 66.4 (6.09)
    4-year nondoctorate 26.0 (1.16) 14.7 (0.78) 25.5 (1.74) 16.6 (1.46) 24.4 (1.66) 15.3 (1.23) 28.3 (1.88) 11.3 0 (0.93) 245 18.7 (1.59) 20 8.2 (1.13) 67.7 (4.58) 60.1 (4.89)
    Less-than-4-year 31.3 (2.06) 12.9 (1.89) 30.3 (3.75) 10.2 (2.81) 22.3 (4.25) 9.4 ! (3.42) 23.7 (1.86) 5.7 ! (2.02) 36 55.8 ! (19.09) 7 18.7 (5.24) 59.0 ! (19.25) 44.8 ! (14.86)
  Private for-profit
    2 years or more 25.4 (1.63) 11.7 (1.04) 28.8 (1.46) 11.3 (1.20) 20.9 (0.74) 8.2 (0.37) 33.9 (1.61) 10.7 0 (0.70) 416 19.2 (2.03) 21 5.0 (0.82) 61.8 (8.94) 53.6 (8.16)
    Less-than-2-year 24.1 (0.50) 7.8 (0.23) 26.5 (1.02) 5.5 (0.51) 16.7 (0.74) 3.8 (0.56) 25.0 (1.10) 4.2 0 (0.69) 206 17.2 (1.68) 6 2.7 (0.51) 24.1 (6.66) 39.1 (10.44)
---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) for this estimate is 50 percent or greater.
1First-year 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.
2Numbers may not equal those reported in other tables, since these data are based on a sample survey of students who enrolled at any time during the academic year.
3Nonbinary includes genderqueer, gender nonconforming, or a different identity.
4Full-time, full-year students are those who were enrolled full time for 9 or more months.
5Includes students enrolled part time for a full academic year as well as students enrolled full time, but for only part of an academic year.
6Students who attended more than one institution during the year are categorized separately because they may have had more than one housing status.
7Excludes students not in a degree or certificate program.
NOTE: Percentages of students who took remedial courses are based on student reports. Data exclude students attending institutions in Puerto Rico. Detail may not sum to totals because of survey item nonresponse and rounding. Race categories exclude persons of Hispanic ethnicity.
SOURCE: U.S. Department of Education, National Center for Education Statistics, 2003-04, 2007-08, 2011-12, 2015-16, and 2019-20 National Postsecondary Student Aid Study (NPSAS:04, NPSAS:08, NPSAS:12, NPSAS:16, and NPSAS:20). (This table was prepared June 2023.)   

2022 Tables and Figures All Years of Tables and Figures Most Recent Full Issue of the Digest