ERIC Number: ED503505
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2008
Funding Issues in U.S. Community Colleges: Findings From a 2007 Survey of the National State Directors of Community Colleges
Katsinas, Stephen G.; Tollefson, Terrence A.; Reamey, Becky A.
American Association of Community Colleges (NJ1)
Changing state revenues have prompted heightened concern about the immediate short- and long-term future and stability of state investments in higher education. The 2007 Survey of the National Council of State Directors of Community Colleges (NCSDCC) is the third administration of questions to determine questions of access, funding and overall support for community colleges. Data were collected August-December 2007 from 49 NCSDCC members or their designees, representing all states except Delaware and South Dakota. Reported findings include: (1) State funding for community colleges is stable, but concerns over recession and reductions in support exist; (2) Strong competition for scarce state tax dollars continues; (3) Most states that have community college funding formulas did not receive full funding for Fiscal Year (FY) 2007-2008; (4) Tuition increases remain a predominant method by which states deal with scarce resources for community colleges specifically and public higher education generally; (5) Tuition is rising at similar rates across all postsecondary institutions; (6) Enrollment caps and dramatically increased tuition at public universities are pushing students to community colleges; (7) Total state operating budget support for FY 2007-2008 will likely increase, but not enough to address the needs of community colleges; (8) Given tuition increases, a mixed picture of state direct grant aid to students emerges; (9) While community college access is not directly threatened in most states, challenges remain; (10) Access at public flagship and regional universities is more directly threatened, especially in megastates and in states with fast-growing high school graduation class sizes; (11) Rural community colleges face the greatest budgetary strain; (12) Most community college functions remain relatively stable; general education, transfer, vocational, technical, and occupational education are strengthened; (13) Financing techniques available to fund capital needs are highly varied; (14) Deferred maintenance at community colleges has worsened in recent years; and (15) Statewide bond issues for facilities are being considered in many states. The survey concludes that the funding picture faced by community colleges is problematic, and expresses concern because that many states use higher education tuition increases to ameliorate short-term budget revenue shortfalls, a round of tuition increases at rates three to five times above the inflation rate may be on the horizon for the nation's community colleges, particularly those in rural areas already facing significant fiscal strain. Local Tax Appropriation Funding Status of Community Colleges is appended. (Contains 14 tables.
Descriptors: Funding Formulas, Higher Education, Financial Problems, School Maintenance, Community Colleges, Graduation, Bond Issues, Rural Areas, Tuition, Educational Finance, National Surveys, State Aid, Student Costs, Access to Education, Public Education, Student Financial Aid
American Association of Community Colleges. One Dupont Circle NW Suite 410, Washington, DC 20015. Tel: 202-728-0200; Fax: 202-833-2467; Web site: http://www.aacc.nche.edu
Publication Type: Numerical/Quantitative Data; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education; Two Year Colleges
Authoring Institution: American Association of Community Colleges