Community colleges serve multiple purposes. Because of their accessibility and low cost they educate students who are older and poorer than the average college student. They also exist for community development and work training purposes. And yet, it turns out some apparently some 80 percent of community college students want to be regular college students.

According to an article by Lily Altavena in the New York Times:

As many as four out of five community college students in the United States want to transfer to a four-year institution so they can obtain a bachelor’s degree, according to a report released Thursday by the College Board.

The report, on the challenges facing students who transfer from two-year public colleges to four-year institutions, also found that two of every five undergraduates in the United States is enrolled in a community college.

So there are a lot of people in community colleges, and most of them want to get out. The problem, according to the report, is that actually successfully transferring to a four-year college is pretty difficult.

While the recession has led many students to attend community colleges, which are cheaper, traditional colleges often don’t know how to transfer community college students in.

Transfer students from other traditional colleges have usual completed general education requirements by the time they’ve reached their junior year, the requirements for community colleges are different and transfer students from such institutions arrive unprepared; they haven’t completed the necessary courses. This means that they might not be able to complete their bachelor’s degrees on time.

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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