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American Indian Students Struggle to Meet ACT College Readiness Marks

A new report out from ACT shows American Indian students lag behind their peers in key measures of college readiness, even if they take challenging high school courses.

While 31 percent of all students who took the ACT didn't meet the college readiness benchmarks in English, reading, math, or science, 55 percent of American Indian students failed to meet the target in any subject, according to "The Condition of College Readiness 2014: American Indian Students" released July 6. In last year's report, the figure was 52 percent for American Indian students.

The benchmarks are minimum scores that ACT has determined students must earn to have about a 75 percent chance of earning a grade of C or higher in a typical first-year college course.

In English, fewer than half of American Indian students who took "core or more" courses met the benchmark, compared to 67 percent for all students. In math, about 46 percent of all students who took the core courses met the benchmark, but just 23 percent of those who were American Indian did.

The report notes that 600,000 American Indian students attend regular or tribal schools and 14,000 took the ACT in 2014. In the past five years, participation among the population has dropped by 13 percent.

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