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.
Ms Fernandez said 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.
She 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 working with federal agencies to secure grants that will help address the problem.