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Published: Saturday, 10/4/2008

College work is tough

IT'S woeful when high school students get to college and find that they are not prepared for the rigors of higher education. The issue demands attention because remedial courses cost billions annually.

As much as students might study and excel even in college-prep high schools, sometimes it's just not enough. Many students are finding in college that they should have put forth more effort in high school.

A report titled 'Diploma to Nowhere,' issued by Strong American Schools, composed of a bipartisan group in Colorado, said remedial courses cost up to $2.9 billion a year.

And the problem is not just at four-year colleges. More than 40 percent of community college and 29 percent of four-year public college students take remedial classes. It may be that many students simply do not belong in college. That's tough to accept, since going to college has become part of the entitlement syndrome.

High schools have a big job trying to get students ready for the real world, no matter what they plan to do after graduation. As for students who really are college material, teachers, counselors, and parents must also tell them that college work is demanding, and they should expect to work hard.

Colleges are working hard to do what they can. For example, at Long Beach City College in California, where 95 percent of the students need remedial courses, officials give struggling students more time and attention.

But doesn't that sound like what should have been done for them in high school?

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