Students who’ve left high school without a diploma or GED are enrolling in college, reports the New York Times. Non-graduates make up “2 percent of all college students, 3 percent at community colleges and 4 percent at commercial, or profit-making, colleges, according to a survey by the United States Education Department in 2003-4.”
Hudson Valley Community College in Troy, N.Y., with 12,000 students, is one of the many SUNY campuses that welcome students without high school diplomas. Last fall, nearly 3 percent of the entering class lacked these credentials, double the 1.5 percent two years earlier. The admissions director, Mary Claire Bauer, said the college tried to help the students with counseling and other programs.
“We give everyone the opportunity to come to college,” Ms. Bauer said. Still, she added, “The success rates are only so-so.”
With the extra assistance, 37 percent of the group that entered in fall 2004 returned a year later, compared with 57 percent for the whole class.
California community colleges will take anybody with a pulse, but students have to pass a test or pass remedial classes to get into academic classes. Students in the 10 percent of the class of ’06 that hasn’t yet passed the graduation exam may go on to community college rather than spending another year in high school, but odds are they’ll have to take remedial reading and math classes.