According to a study funded by the Pew Charitable Trusts, more than half to students at four-year colleges — and at least 75 percent at two-year colleges — lack the literacy to handle real-life tasks such as understanding credit card offers. (Yahoo story)
The study finds that students fail to lock in key skills — no matter their field of study. They cannot interpret an exercise and blood pressure table, understand the arguments of newspaper editorials, compare credit card offers with different interest rates and annual fees or summarize results of a survey about parental involvement in school.
Stephane Baldi, the study's director at the American Institutes for Research, says, "It is kind of disturbing that a lot of folks are graduating with a degree and they're not going to be able to do those things."
Most students at community colleges and four-year schools showed intermediate skills, meaning they can do moderately challenging tasks, such as identifying a location on a map.
Here’s the good news. Overall, the average literacy of college students is significantly higher than that of adults across the nation.
This explains so much.
Armed with this new information it’s time to re-examine your marketing materials. If you use Microsoft Office, run your text through grammar and spell check. You’ll see a Flesch-Kincaid Grade Level. I try to keep the grade level around 6 or 7. This memo scores 10.1, which means it will be difficult for some people to understand.
Simple, crisp, concise writing will improve the understanding of you messages. When your message improves so do your results.