The bridge students must cross from high school to college spans troubled waters.

A report by the company that administers the ACT test for college-bound students finds that almost a third of this year's high school graduates who took the ACT are not prepared for college-level writing, biology, algebra or social science classes.

The company's annual report also found a gap between students' interests now and projected job opportunities when they graduate, adding to the dire outlook for the class of 2013.

The ACT reported that 31 percent of all high school graduates tested were not ready for any college coursework requiring English, science, math or reading skills. The other 69 percent of test takers met only one of the four subject-area standards.

Just a quarter of this year's high school graduates passed in all four subjects, demonstrating the skills they'll need for college or a career, according to company data.

The report's findings suggest that many students will struggle when they arrive on campus or they'll be forced to take remedial courses - often without earning credits - to catch their peers.

Having to take a remedial course is costly for students and creates added expenses for colleges. Those dollars would be better spent advancing a student's education, not reviewing what he or she already should know.

We share the concern that there is a growing divide between what students want to study and where they might find jobs down the road.

Attending college is expensive. Students should arrive on campus with better basic skills and an understanding of what will be required from the workforce in an ever-changing world