Can Common Core fix this problem?

The standards are supposed to prepare kids for college. See where the U.S. stands now.

By GreatSchools Staff

Most parents dream that their children will go to college — but they don’t necessarily consider how the children will perform in college once they get there.

As this infographic makes clear, an alarming number of students aren’t prepared for college: nearly 20 percent of students attending four-year colleges must take remedial courses to catch up, according to Complete College America. At community colleges, the number is even higher: 43 percent of students sign up for at least one remedial course, a report by the College Board found.

Why does this matter?

Students who take a remedial course are far less likely to complete college than students who don’t need remediation, according to experts. In fact, only 56 percent of all students attending college get a bachelor’s degree within six years (only 28 percent of students at two-year colleges earn an associate degree within three years). There are many reasons students fail to complete college, of course, but experts believe that the cost — both financial and emotional — of not being prepared plays a significant role.

What’s the answer? Clearly, students need to be better prepared for college, and boosting college readiness is one of the goals of new K-12 education standards, known as Common Core State Standards (CCSS). Find out more about the Common Core State Standards and learn GreatSchools’ position on the Common Core.