Why Aren’t Low-Income Students Succeeding in School?

Many low income first-generation college students who are reading and doing math at a seventh or eighth grade level are admitted into college. Every year, as many as 1.7 million first-year students entering both two- and four-year colleges will take a remedial course to learn the skills they need to enroll in a college-level course. African American, Hispanic, and low-income students represent the largest populations of entering college freshmen who require remedial courses. In fact, 64.7 percent of low-income students who are enrolled in a 2-year college and 31.9 percent enrolled in a 4-year college will require remediation. Academic challenges are often deep-seeded and begin in primary and secondary school, which when left unaddressed, often leads to remediation at the postsecondary level. There are several factors that contribute to low-income students entering college with poor math and reading skills. Here are some of them:


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