Postsecondary Preparation and Remediation

Examining the Effect of the Early Assessment Program at California State University
Jessica S. Howell
The College Board
Michal Kurlaender
University of California, Davis
Eric Grodsky
University of Wisconsin–Madison


This paper investigates how participation in the Early Assessment Program (EAP), which provides California high school juniors with information about their academic readiness for college-level work at California State University campuses, affects their college-going behavior and need for remediation in college. Using administrative records from California State University, Sacramento, and the California Department of Education, we find that participation in the EAP reduces the average student’s probability of needing remediation at California State Universities by 6.1 percentage points in English and 4.1 percentage points in mathematics. Rather than discouraging poorly prepared students from applying to Sacramento State, EAP appears to lead students to increase their academic preparation while still in high school.

This article was originally published in the Journal of Policy Analysis and Management by Wiley-Blackwell.

Suggested citationHowell, J. S., Kurlaender, M., & Grodsky, E. (2010, October). Postsecondary preparation and remediation: Examining the effect of the Early Assessment Program at California State University [Article]. Policy Analysis for California Education.