Senate Bill 2056 passed 43-8 Wednesday.
The measure tells the Education Achievement Council to report proposals for legislation by November. The council also would be required to study how to improve the college readiness of incoming students and phase out funding of remedial college classes by 2019.
The Senate Universities and Colleges Committee earlier killed a bill that would have restricted remedial courses.
The study would also consider how to increase the number of students earning degrees. It was amended by Sen. John Polk, a Hattiesburg Republican, to require universities and colleges to study how to keep students from starting and then dropping large numbers of classes.