Thanks to financial troubles at the University of California and California State University, many more Californians are now flocking to community colleges. Although community colleges are also suffering from funding cuts from the Golden State, and are more expensive now than ever, they’re still the cheapest option available.

That makes it really, really troublesome to students if the community college collapses. And that’s what’s probably going to happen at City College of San Francisco unless the institution makes some dramatic changes. According to an article by Nanette Asimov in the San Francisco Chronicle:

The poorly run City College of San Francisco has eight months to prove it should stay in business, yet must “make preparations for closure,” evaluators ordered Tuesday.

The stunning verdict by the Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges could result in the closure of California’s largest college and a fixture of higher education in one of the nation’s wealthiest cities. It has 90,000 students.

A college has to be accredited in order to receive state funding or federal financial aid. So no accreditation essentially means no college.

The report by the Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges cited the school’s ongoing leadership problems and “failure to react to ongoing reduced funding.” The school has approved an $187 million budget for 2012-13. That’s $8 million less than the year before. The community college apparently spends 92 percent of its budget on salaries and benefits.

By October 15 the institution must submit an “action plan” to the accrediting commission in order to address the commission’s concerns. [Image via]

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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