Maryland's Baltimore County has seen an increase in the number of high-school graduates going on to college -- from 54% in 2002 to 61% in 2009 -- but many students are not prepared for college-level work or lack the financial means to earn college degrees. Programs are in place to encourage students to take rigorous classes and teach study skills to students in the academic middle, and schools are working to inform parents about financial aid. However, some educators say more needs to be done to ensure that more students are able to complete college and earn four-year degrees.

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