Here’s what they found:
- Students are especially under-prepared in math and science. Many students are missing foundational math skills, leaving them less able to tackle the more complex mathematical concepts of college-level courses. Some professors report having to add remedial coursework to their previously more advanced classes—which in turn means students will miss out on those more advanced concepts.
- Students of color and low-income students are most affected. Many colleges and universities, including HBCUs, are seeing lower rates of enrollment among students of color, low-income students, and first-generation college students. Among those who do enroll, remediation rates are up compared to pre-pandemic times. All of this means that opportunity and achievement gaps among students are now growing—rather than shrinking, as they were pre-pandemic.
- Anxiety levels are up, and many students aren’t prepared to ask for support. We know that the pandemic experience took a toll on teenagers’ mental health. Now, some college officials are pointing out that students are seeking support (like peer tutoring) at lower rates than they used to—a sign that some students may be struggling, academically and otherwise, and keeping it to themselves.
If we want to ensure that future college students don’t start with the same challenges, families need to act now to make sure their kids get what they need from their high school classes. It’s a good time to connect with your child’s guidance counselor about how to make sure they have access to the right support and academic coursework to be prepared for college-level studies. And if you have a young adult already in college who needs support, we’ve got some suggestions for where to seek it out.
Own Your Own Future
This website offers a slew of tools for parents and students on planning ahead for college, but it also offers great resources and good ideas for alternatives to college.
Free, high-quality online courses on just about everything, from 2nd grade math and reading to AP Calculus and internet safety. What's not to love?