Massachusetts’s public colleges universities will now require applicants to have taken math throughout high school, every single year.

According to an article by Jacqueline Reis in the Worcester Telegram:

Public universities will require students to take four years of high school math beginning with the class that enters in the fall of 2016, the state Board of Higher Education decided today at its meeting at Fitchburg State University.

Public universities such as the University of Massachusetts and Fitchburg State currently require three years of math.

While less than half of students in urban high schools are meeting the goal, about 80 percent of high school students in suburban and rural Massachusetts are already taking four years of math.

Back in March, the chairman of the state board of higher education explained the new math requirement was an improvement because:

This vote puts Massachusetts in the vanguard of states that are increasing expectations for students from preschool to graduate school. Strong mathematics ability is no longer an option. It is essential knowledge for every student given the demands of our 21st century economy.

It’s not immediately apparent why admissions staff requiring another year of math would give every Massachusetts student “strong mathematics ability.”

Once the students actually get to college, however, the state doesn’t appear to require that they take any more math.

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Daniel Luzer is the news editor at Governing Magazine and former web editor of the Washington Monthly. Find him on Twitter: @Daniel_Luzer