Trey Rasmussen excelled at hockey at his Martha’s Vineyard high school. Academics, not so much.
“I was planning on graduating and just jumping right into construction,” said the 20-year-old who earned mostly Cs. “I crunched the numbers and figured how much money I’d be making, so why the heck not. A lot of kids go to college and spend all sorts of money and never graduate.”
His older brother was among them and Trey worried about the financial burden of college on his family if he, too, attempted it and failed. Thanks to a tip from his hockey coach, he never had to find out.
The coach told him about a private, yearlong bridge program for boys, Bridgton Academy in North Bridgton, Maine. There he learned what he should have in high school and received thoughtful attention to get him college ready.
It worked. With an interest in business administration, Trey just happily completed his freshman year at Salve Regina University in Newport, R.I., with a 3.0 average. The son of a Montessori preschool teacher and a summer home caretaker is now on track to be the first in his family to graduate from college.
“That was the best money I ever spent,” said Trey’s mom, Christeen. “I knew that had I sent him to college right from high school he probably would have been home by Christmastime.”
But such remediation comes at a cost to students and taxpayers at a time when some researchers estimate about two-thirds of all new jobs in the U.S. require some postsecondary schooling. At Bridgton, tuition, room and board is $42,000 – out of reach for many families, even with financial aid.
Trey is among thousands of students to face the problem. Roughly one of every three entering a public two- or four-year postsecondary school will have to take at least one remedial course. Doing so dramatically increases the odds that he or she won’t graduate, according to a March report from the nonprofit Alliance for Excellent Education. Read more>>