Those students who did not have to take developmental courses in their first semester also showed lower dropout rates.
Also in the HEPC's report to the legislators, the state's financial aid and college graduation rates were discussed.
Eight of West Virginia's public four-year institutions have lower graduation rates than their peer institutions.
Three of the state's institutions, however, have a higher graduation rate when compared to similar schools in the region. Those institutions include Potomac State College of WVU, Shepherd University and West Liberty University.
Hill also reported that while the number of Promise scholarship recipients has declined in the past five years because of increases in qualification criteria and a declining number of high school seniors, the total dollars awarded has risen because the scholarship amount has been tied to the rising cost of tuition and fees.
The number of high school seniors offered the Promise has increased, in addition to the number of students who retained the scholarship throughout their college careers. In the past year, the proportion of Promise scholars in the lowest income groups has also increased.
The need-based Higher Education Grant also has shown a major increase. The grant program has increased more than 85 percent in the past five years, increasing award money by nearly $10 million. That's in part because of the elimination of a separate state application requirement, according to the HEPC report. Students can now accept the award with their initial Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).
Reach Mackenzie Mays at mackenzie.m...@wvgazette.com or 304-348-4814.