The Colorado Paradox

Colorado’s Problem

Every educator in Colorado has heard of The Colorado Paradox– the concept that Colorado is the fifth-most educated state in the U.S., but less than one-third of students educated in Colorado earn a college degree. Race and socioeconomic status play a large factor. In Colorado, a white student who receives free or reduced-price lunch is 50% less likely to enroll in college than a white student who does not receive free or reduced-price lunch. The same story is true for Latino and African-American students, where the difference is 27% and 20%, respectively. Overall, less than 40% of students receiving free or reduced-price lunch enroll in college.

Once students arrive on college campuses, their success is largely split along race and socioeconomic status, too. The average GPA during the first year of college for a white student is 2.87, while it’s only 2.58 for a Latino student and 2.28 for an African-American student. And after 4 years of college, 32% of white students achieved some credential, while only 20% of Latino students and 14% of African-American students had achieved some credential.

Contrast this data with Georgetown University’s report that by 2020, 65% of jobs will require some education beyond high school, and the problem becomes alarming. Less than 40% of low-income students attend college, and after 4 years in college, less than one-third of all students from Colorado receive their credential. By 2020, far fewer than 65% of Colorado’s students will have earned a college credential.

How does Denver Test Prep help?

Denver Test Prep (DTP) is committed to helping driven low-income students achieve their dreams of a college degree. Through customized program development, DTP administration works with partner nonprofits and schools to pair top ACT and SAT tutors with students who fit the following profiles:
• Qualify as low-income
• Desire a better SAT and/or ACT test score
• Are willing to work hard and complete homework between sessions

While the ACT and SAT are not intelligence tests, they do play a factor in success in college. The ACT has studied its data and determined that achieving benchmark scores leads to a 50% likelihood of achieving a B in a freshman-level course and a 75% likelihood of achieving a C in a freshman-level course. ACT and SAT scores also play a significant factor in college admissions, which is important because one of the most important factors for graduating from college with a degree is attending a college that does a good job graduating its students. And getting into a college with this level of success requires a strong GPA and a strong ACT or SAT score.

Often, students looking to apply for competitive scholarships like the Daniels Scholarship, the Boettcher Scholarship, the Evans Scholarship, or merit aid at a college or university need to boost their ACT or SAT score. DTP works with these students to set a target score and a course of study.

Nonprofit Partnerships

Denver Test Prep is committed to offering customized one-on-one tutoring programs and small group courses to nonprofit organizations that serve disadvantaged youth.

For organizations that prefer to deliver tutoring programs using their own staff or volunteers, we also offer staff training programs.

If you are interested in partnering with Denver Test Prep, please contact us.

Learn about Denver Test Prep’s nonprofit partners