Fewer college freshmen are having to enroll in remedial courses, according to the National Center for Education Statistics — 20.4% of freshmen in 2007-08, down from 26.3% in 1999-2000, Caralee Adams writes in this blog post. The data also show that fewer white students enrolled in remedial courses than their peers, and students in private colleges also were less likely to need remedial courses, she writes. 

New research out from the National Center for Education Statistics sheds light on incoming college students who are taking remedial or developmental classes and how the landscape has changed in the past decade.

The percentage of freshman who had to take remedial classes upon entering college dropped from 1999-2000 to 2007-2008 from 26.3 percent to 20.4 percent. Looking more closely, however, the NCES shows a dip in 2003-2004 when just 19.3 percent of new college students reported taking remedial courses before it ticked up again.

The First-Year Undergraduate Remedial Coursetaking report released Wednesday measured the frequency and change in remedial enrollment at U.S. postsecondary institutions, as well as looked at what kinds of students were lacking the skills to perform college-level work.

Within each year reviewed, the NCES found lower percentages of white students reporting taking remedial classes compared to black and Hispanic students. In the most recent years reviewed (2007-08), 19.9 percent of white students reported enrolling in remedial classes while 30.2 percent of black students and 29 percent of Hispanics did.

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