ERIC Number: ED478631
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 2003
Reference Count: N/A
Preserving Access with Excellence: Financing for Rural Community Colleges. Policy Paper.
Katsinas, Stephen G.; Alexander, King F.; Opp, Ronald D.
This document argues that for the 1.8 million students attending the 731 rural community colleges in the United States, the community college is often the only option for higher education. However, both access and excellence for rural students are being negatively impacted by recent federal and state policy that has decreased funding to community colleges. In real dollars per student, state funding has declined since 1980, while tuition has risen to compensate for reduced state funding. Federal and state financial aid have not made up the difference for low-income students, which has resulted in reduced access. When colleges increase their tuition fees in order to match the $1,500 Hope Scholarship tax credit, low-income students working their way through community college suffer the most. The Pell Grant system favors low- to moderate-income students who attend higher-cost colleges because they are linked to tuition costs, with relatively few dollars going to community colleges. Many states promote a high tuition/high aid model, and the average student loan indebtedness has soared as a result. Additionally, rural community colleges, especially those with enrollments below 2,500, have higher expenditures per full-time student. Recommends a reexamination of funding models and argues that low tuition is the best form of financial aid. Also recommends that financial aid policies reflect the real costs of attending college, including childcare and transportation. (Contains 30 endnotes.) (NB)
Descriptors: Access to Education, College Admission, Community Colleges, Educational Finance, Equal Education, Excellence in Education, Financial Support, Nondiscriminatory Education, Open Enrollment, Policy, Rural Schools, Small Colleges, State Federal Aid, Tuition, Two Year Colleges
For full text: http://www.mdcinc.org/rcci/preserving_access.pdf.
Publication Type: Information Analyses; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: MDC, Inc., Chapel Hill, NC.
Note: Produced by the Rural Community College Initiative (RCCI).