13th Grade: Adding Up The Cost Of Remedial College Courses
Students and Florida taxpayers pay a price for remedial education in several ways
From 2004 to 2011, Florida’s remedial education costs for both students and schools ballooned from $118 million to $168 million. At the same time, state college funding has declined $544 million since 2007, causing tuition increases and creating a greater need for publicly funded financial aid.
Research shows that young adults with college degrees earn about 40 percent more than those with some college and around two-thirds more than people with a high school diploma.
The dropout rate of Florida’s 2010 graduating class cost the state $132 million in lost income and $19 million in lost federal taxes, according to an American Institute for Research estimates.
Part 1: Why one in two students taking a college placement exam wind up in remedial classes
Sidebar: Adding up the cost of remedial education
Part 2: What’s causing the rising need for remedial classes
Part 3: Why math is a persistent problem
Part 4: How the economy and financial aid are contributing to the need for remedial classes
Part 5: What educators are doing to help students in remedial courses finish their studies
Part 6: How new common education standards could make sure graduates are ready for college
These stories are the result of a reporting partnership between StateImpact Florida and the Florida Center for Investigative Reporting
Even still, tuition increases at community and state colleges don’t fill the gap in state funding. Educators and students are forced to do more with less. At the same time, elected officials emphasize that our economic recovery depends on a retooled, more educated workforce.
The Georgetown Center on Education and the Workforce and the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics estimate the U.S. demand for workers with two-year college degrees will see the most rapid growth — a 63 percent increase in the next decade. To meet these demands, according to Georgetown Center’s analysis, the nation must produce 22 million college graduates, but projections show that we will fall 3 million short.
Bob Wise, a former governor of West Virginia who is now president of the Alliance for Excellent Education, a Washington, D.C.-based policy and advocacy group, said the U.S. economic recovery depends on students graduating from college.
“Our economy can’t thrive if we don’t deal with this problem and graduate more students to join the workforce,” Wise said.