Up to 90 percent of graduating high school students have failed the Northern Marianas College's English placement test.
This has been revealed by the College President Carmen Fernandez at a House hearing.
The Marianas Variety newspaper reports Ms Fernandez says the college requires a placement test for every student who wants to attend and the results show that between 80-90 percent of them failed the test.
Ms Fernandez says many local students face tough obstacles as they graduate from high school, including limited financial resources, insufficient information about educational options, and a lack of academic preparation for college-level courses.
She says the College is applying for a five millioon US dollar grant to implement the Gear Up, CNMI! Program, which aims to prepare middle and high school students for college by providing a variety of academic preparation programs, plus scholarships and other critical resources.