MORE than 1 in 10 college undergraduates need remedial courses to catch them up on material they should have had in high school, and among minorities the figure is nearly twice as high, says a report issued today.
At the same time, budgetary pressures are causing some states to examine the possibility of eliminating these courses to save money.
About 13 percent of all undergraduates - 1.6 million students - took at least one remedial course in the 1992-93 school year, according to the report released Monday by the American Council on Education in Washington.
These students often hail from lower-income families, were born outside the United States, and do not speak English at home. Nineteen percent of all black, Hispanic, and Asian-American undergraduates and 15 percent of native American students took remedial courses in the 1992-93 school year, compared with 11 percent of white undergraduates.
While most institutions plan to continue offering remedial classes, educators in some states facing budget constraints want to offer these catch-up classes only at junior colleges, cut the number of remedial courses, or limit them to first-year students.
Some states are tightening college admission requirements to lessen the need for remedial lessons, the report said. Others want high schools to pay for the remedial work their graduates must have before they can tackle college studies.