The Condition of College and Career Readiness: 2014

By Betsy Prueter

ACT recently released their annual report on the college readiness of the incoming college class.

In addition to listing policy suggestions and recommendations, it summarized the following findings:

  • The percentage of graduates meeting the ACT College Readiness Benchmarks in 2014 remained relatively steady.
    • The number of students achieving the science benchmark increased only slightly, from 36% in 2013 to 37% in 2014, while the number of students attaining the math benchmark dropped from 44% in 2013 to 43%. There was no change in the percentage of students meeting the English and reading benchmarks.
    • 26% of students met all four of the college readiness benchmarks (science, math, English and reading).
  • 57% of Asian students and 49% of white students met at least three or more college readiness benchmarks, compared to 23% of Hispanic students and 18% of African American students. Students who meet at least three benchmarks have a much stronger chance of success in their first year of college than those who meet fewer than three.
  • 86% of ACT-tested graduates indicated a desire to attend college.
    • Among the 87% with the same aspirations in 2013, only 69% actually enrolled.
    • Closing this gap could result in an increase of over 300,000 students enroll in postsecondary education.
  • 80% of students tested selected a major they planned to study in college. The most popular choice was nursing, followed by medicine, business, and mechanical engineering.
    • Fewer than 50% of students choosing these majors met all four of the college readiness benchmarks.