ACT Results Show a Huge Racial Gap in Preparedness for College

The American College Testing Program analyzes the results of the ACT college entrance examinations to determine the percentage of students who take the test who meet benchmark scores for college readiness. These statistics reveal what percentage of all test takers are adequately prepared for college-level study. Unfortunately, this data shows a huge racial gap in college readiness. Some 37 percent of all blacks who took the ACT in 2008 were rated as being adequately prepared for college English courses. For whites, the figure was 77 percent. In mathematics, only 11 percent of all black test takers achieved the benchmark score for college readiness. For whites, nearly half of all students were deemed prepared for college-level study in mathematics. This is more than four times the rate for blacks. The largest racial gap in college readiness is in science. Only 5 percent of black ACT test takers achieved the benchmark score for preparedness in science. In contrast, 33 percent of white students, more than six times as many, were deemed capable of handling a college-level science curriculum.