One of the most galling things about public higher education is the large number of students taking remedial courses at high-cost four-year universities. Students are supposed to learn to read and do basic math before they get to college, and if they haven’t, universities aren’t the place for them. Remedial students rarely reward the taxpayers who subsidize them by getting degrees; either they lack academic aptitude and should pursue something else besides an academic degree or their K–12 education did not prepare them for college. The obvious solution is to have them spend some time at a low-cost community college first, to sort them out and to improve the skills of the ones with a chance to graduate. Yet that doesn’t stop universities from enrolling remedial students. The Pope Center’s Jenna Ashley Robinson puts some hard numbers and facts about the University of North Carolina system’s remedial programs here.
by Jay Schalin