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More students aspire to attend college, ACT study finds

2nd September 2014   ·   0 Comments

American College Testing Inc., which offers college admissions assessments for high school students through standardized tests, says a new study finds interest in higher education to be increasing among high school graduates.

Whether that interest means more graduates are enrolling in colleges and universities remains to be seen — particularly since many of them might not be ready for post-secondary studies, said Paul Weeks, an ACT vice president for client relations.

“For over 20 years, ACT has been putting out an annual report on the condition of college and career-readiness,” Weeks told the Wall Street Journal. “The population now represents about 57 percent of the graduates nationwide. … It’s important for us to keep a gauge on how students are doing in terms of preparedness.”

Weeks added that while access to college has increased and aspirations are high, too many students are unprepared.

“When we looked at [results from last year], well over 80 percent [of students] indicated that they wanted to go into higher education, but only 69 percent actually enrolled,” he said.

Weeks said that in 2013, ACT officials saw minor increases in overall average test scores that highlighted increases in English, reading and science.

“But I think most concerning, is that we still see a large percentage of students — over 30 percent — who our research indicates aren’t ready for any of the corresponding college courses in English, math, reading and science,” he said.

This article originally published in the September 1, 2014 print edition of The Louisiana Weekly newspaper.

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