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ACT Report: African American Students Unprepared for College

ACT Report: African American Students Unprepared for College
| Staff

Amid concerns our educational system is failing a large percentage of our students, particularly African American students, a national report released by American College Testing (ACT) shows many African American students lack college readiness. While these students were able to fulfill the requirements and pass all recommended high school courses, they lagged behind their peers in terms of higher education preparedness. This according to a new report from ACT and United Negro College Fund.

"Even when they are doing what they are supposed to do in terms of taking the recommended college preparatory curriculum and earning a high school diploma, too many lack sufficient preparation for first-year college courses", said Jim Larimore, ACT’s chief officer for advancement of underserved learners.

ACT suggests that schools start monitoring students' progress in earlier grades, develop tougher high school core courses, and ensure support and attention for off-target students.

We certainly hope that your elementary, middle and high schools are providing you with the education and support you need to pursue a college education. Visit to start your free college scholarship search and find free money to go towards your college education.

Comments (29)
Esther Matturie 8/18/2015
I am a mother of three but interested in doing Cosmology, but need financial help. I believe you're in the position of helping many which I believe am one of those.
Adora B. 8/18/2015
Too little information. All African American students do not lag behind their white cohorts. Neither do all Native American students. Please be sure to include all the data next time you report on this topic. Otherwise, it comes across as unfavorable.
Nicholas L 8/18/2015
i think a lot of this unreadiness depends on the student and most likely their home environment. Obviously high school to college is a huge transition, many students are not prepared for this. I believe the more AP classes you can take in high school will somewhat prepare you for college life.
Sla 8/15/2015
i have a child who is going off to college. We have to pay the way, even tho my child had a 3.5 GPA did not get any scholarship money because we are not Hispanic, one family income, divorced, or not African American and my child worked 30 hours a week while maintaining the 3.5 GPA We are struggling to pay her way, you would think quality is better than quantity. The only way to bring students up is to train the parents raising their child not wait till their in high school. "Family training"!
Martha D 8/14/2015
when schools have low bars and barely prepare minority children to succeed in college, economics don't even come into play. No challenges and low standards does not prepare anyone for success. Systems are not only failing black students to succeed but are also failing college graduates of all races to be successful in the work environment; if it weren't for nepotism the average college grad is ill prepared to succeed with minimal support in the real work world. Many are mentored done of the most minimal tasks... How to think, observe, critic; the list goes on. So the failure of minority students is the tip of a failing educational process of one of the wealthiest countries. This country would have the best and brightest and a large majority of success stories regardless of race if the investment was in educating all Americans at all ages and levels.
JP Maia 8/14/2015
I don't know much about American history to understand why this is happening specifically with African American students. However, it is understandable the lack of preparedness for some students to attend college. It is important to notice that the change from high school to college is huge. It's not the same thing as going from one year to the next in high school, which happens naturally. The transition from high school to college should be assisted. Some students will adapt easier than other, but some will need professional help to get things on track.
Peter 8/14/2015
The results of Social promotion and reduce standards are showing up in all different aspect of our country
Cecilia Washington 8/14/2015
I agree with the above and that is why I'm doing all I can for my children because I had no one to do this or lead me in the right direction! Thank you all!
Willieyour A 8/14/2015
I think that this is somewhat true depending on your background and family situation. If a parent have been to college then they will prepare their children for college. However on the other hand if they have never been and don't have the where withal to know what it takes to be successful in college then it is a great possibility that their student will not be successful. Then you have that individual or those individuals who are determined to make it and be successful regardless to their cultural circumstances and background. The statistics may actually show that students are more successful in college if they are prepared. It is safe to say that African American have a greater possibility of attending college less prepared.
Alize Steeley 8/13/2015
I just want to be successful and graduate college .Paying for school tends to be a hassle with college expenses . A scholarship would put nothing in my way of accomplishing my goals .
Frederickeason fme 8/13/2015
please help me get in college
Kerri W 8/12/2015
I personally agree with some of that statement.: I am a second generation college student . My mother went to college and had to work while attendance college because there was no college fund, scholarship or any help to get to a local Technical College. I would like to be a receiver of some assistance and scholarships so that I can start turning some of the negative statement about why black lack the drive to be ready for first year college.
Gayla H 8/12/2015
I believe
Gayla H 8/12/2015
I believe the truth behind the statement is only because in the African American community lots of African Americans may be in that class that is above low but under middle and are unable to afford to send their children to college making it harder for the children to go to college and making them want to get a job and help their family out more than go to college and get an education. Me myself being a black African American person I wanted to get a job instead of going to college however now being a adult having a child of my own I am struggling trying to level out working a job raising my child and going to school myself because I see the importance of education. So those are the hardships of the African American community.
DV 8/11/2015
I live in Baltimore city. I went to an all black city elematarty school. Then a mostly white county middle school for 2 years. After That a mostly white catholic school my 8th grade year. For HS I returned to the city. All through my four years I noticed that things I learned in middle school my classmates in this all black Baltimore city school never were taught. I definitely feel that I am not fully prepared for my first year of college this fall. However, I will not let that deter me from my goal of a bachelors degree in four years. In fact it just means that I will have to work harder than ever before. I look forward to this challenge. I also agree with this article that monitoring progress at ealier grades and more challenging HS courses in African American communities will help them to be competitive and equipted for college in the future.
Briana Robertson 8/11/2015
this is exactly what I was talking about, because I as a student struggle wen it comes to the test . The reports show that I am not college ready ,but my grades speak otherwise I think this is a good thing right here
Shermarke G 8/11/2015
I am an African American college student and I hold these statistics to be self evident. Coming out of highschool, I wasent prepared for the real world. eg. In holding my self financially responsible for my own education, Growing up I was told it was going to be hard but was never described how hard exactly. My mother attended American University in Washington, D.C. My father never attended college. & sure FAFSA helped partly through college but it was never enough. I have applied for numerous scholarships but never actually received any. The point im trying to convey is, being repetitively told that college is important is not the same as finishing college!
Rashid Y. 8/11/2015
I totally agree
Pedro D. 8/11/2015
Why is it offensive. The language used was not demeaning. It did not suggest anything other than a lack of preparation, which can be laid at the feet of a combination of individuals, groups and policies. It only serves to point out a problem and should drive us to find a solution. Being "offended" and ignoring data because ones feelings are hurt does very little to change the facts. In short fix the problem not the blame.
Mel k 8/11/2015
you can't say a vague statement like 'African Americans not ready for college bc statistics show that' and then not tell us these statistics. what about how many kids go to a 'good' school? what about kids who don't have good hone life based on socioeconomic racism? this is not a matter of 'black kids are lazy in school', this is way way deeper than that. and regardless, being a college freshman is hard on MANY people, no matter race. high school prepares no one for college. to top it all off, this 'blog post' needs to be better worded. it sounds pretty offensive and puts black people in a bad spot.
Airiana 8/11/2015
As an African American student in my last year of high school I feel that I'm not behind but actually ahead of a lot of other students in my year.Also I'm perfectly prepared for college in a year and that just because a study is done doesn't mean everyone falls into it so we shouldn't be based off of something that's not conclusive and offensive.
Lex 8/11/2015
As an african american I find this passage offensive and black people should not be judged on how they prepare themselves. ??
Derek L. 8/11/2015
I was prepared as an African American student because I had family behind me that taught me the ins and outs of college. But mostly its all about life experiences that prepare you
Adora B. 8/11/2015
Too little information. All African American students do not lag behind their white cohorts. Neither do all Native American students. Please be sure to include all the data next time you report on this topic. Otherwise, it comes across as unfavorable.
jl 8/11/2015
I didn't get FASA for school so my parents had to pay for it
Samantha M. 8/11/2015
This is offensive and lies
Michael B 8/11/2015
More information??
Derris L. 8/11/2015
The statistics don't lie. And I love how they give high school seniors possibilities no matter the ethnic group or race. Going to college does not have to lead to massive debt in the future; but with scholarships available, it's possible that African Americans and American Indians can have a better change by becoming better in academics and more financially secure.
Drew price R 8/11/2015
that was very offensive and I'll be deleting this app because of it
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