Community Colleges in this Economy

It’s official: community colleges have more students and less money than ever before. While there’s been convincing anecdotal evidence that American community colleges are flooded with the unemployed, according to an article by Doug Lederman in Inside Higher Ed:

The survey of 128 community college district chancellors and campus presidents, conducted for the second year by the League for Innovation in the Community College and the Campus Computing Project, finds two-year institutions to be caught in a vise of growing student demands for enrollment and continuing financial strain due to diminished state funds. The survey is to be released at the league’s Innovations 2010 meeting in Baltimore today.

Apparently 94 percent of schools reported enrollment increases this semester, nearly one-third of them indicating that the new students increased enrollments by 15 percent or more. Increased demand, coupled with funding reductions (about 52 percent of schools reported receiving less money from the state than they had in 2009), resulted in caps on enrollment. Some 13 percent of schools could not let in all students who applied anymore.

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Daniel Luzer

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