An estimated 1.7 million college students each year are steered to remedial classes to get them caught up and prepare them for regular coursework. But a growing body of research shows the courses are eating up time and money, often leading not to degrees but to student-loan hangovers.
The expense of remedial courses in college, which typically cost students the same as regular classes but don’t fulfill degree requirements, runs about $3 billion annually, according to new research by Complete College America, a Washington-based nonprofit group working to increase the number of students with a college degree.
The group says the classes are largely failing the nation’s higher education system at a time when student-loan debt has become a presidential-campaign issue.
More than 50 percent of students entering two-year colleges and nearly 20 percent of those entering four-year colleges are put in at least one remedial course, the report says.
A version of this article appeared in the June 06, 2012 edition of Education Week as Study: Remedial Work Drains Time, Money