Each year, hundreds of thousands of American students graduate from high school and enter college without being adequately prepared to succeed. Nearly half of low-income high school graduates do not enroll in college at all. This is in part the result of differing expectations for readiness between high school and higher education.
Many higher education policies prevent clear alignment between colleges and high schools. This disconnect is visible in many places—in required coursework, minimum state standards for admission into higher education systems, academic merit requirements for financial aid, and course placement policies that determine whether a student will take college-level courses during their first year.