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ERIC Number: ED542148
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2013-Apr
Pages: 36
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 40
Can Community Colleges Afford to Improve Completion? Measuring the Costs and Efficiency Effects of College Reforms. CCRC Working Paper No. 55
Belfield, Clive; Crosta, Peter; Jenkins, Davis
Community College Research Center, Columbia University
Community colleges are under pressure to increase completion rates and efficiency despite limited evidence of the economic consequences of different reform strategies. We introduce an economic model of student course pathways linked to college expenditures and revenues. Using detailed data from a single college, we calculate baseline efficiency and differences in efficiency for students who follow different pathways. We simulate changes in output, expenditures, revenues, net revenues, and efficiency assuming that the college meets particular performance targets. Findings indicate substantial differences in efficiency across pathways and significant differences in efficiency across strategies to help students complete college. They also suggest that increasing the completion rate is difficult and typically requires additional resources beyond the costs of implementing particular strategies. The model has wide practical application for community colleges. Appended are: (1) Measurement of the College Completion Rate; and (2) Outcomes for "U.S.A. Community College". (Contains 7 tables and 12 footnotes.)
Community College Research Center. Available from: CCRC Publications. Teachers College, Columbia University, 525 West 120th Street Box 174, New York, NY 10027. Tel: 212-678-3091; Fax: 212-678-3699; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Reports - Research
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education; Two Year Colleges
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation
Authoring Institution: Columbia University, Community College Research Center