ERIC Number: ED457895
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 2000-Sep-5
The Financing of United States Community Colleges: National, State, and Local Perspectives.
de la Garza, Leonardo
This paper explores the ways in which community colleges in the United States are financed. It offers a historical overview of community college financing in the U.S., arguing that from their inception, they have operated on the premise of providing wide access to higher education through public funding at little or no cost to students. The paper stresses that any discussion of funding should differentiate between public and private or independent colleges. Most of the growth in the two-year college sector has been on the part of the public institutions. The average tuition for independents in 1997-1998 was $7,536--almost 6 times the average public college tuition. Tuition and fees account for only about 21% of the revenue of public community colleges. But even this low figure is a relatively recent development. For instance, in 1975, California's institutions were tuition-free. Because local control is a basic tenet of community colleges in the United States, there is no single model for financing. The second major source of revenue for community colleges is money appropriated by state legislatures. The percentage of community college income acquired from appropriations ranges from a high in Nevada of 66% to a low in Vermont of 15%. Public colleges are the only segment of higher education that receives revenue from local taxpayers. (NB)
Publication Type: Opinion Papers; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Seminar on "New Options for Higher Education in Latin America: Lessons from the Community Colleges Experience" at the Harvard Graduate School of Education (Cambridge, MA, September 4-8, 2000).