Community College News

Stay abreast of all the news and reports impacting community colleges. This section covers the latest news stories, from campus protests to Wal-Mart partnerships. Read community college reactions to the latest State of the Union address, identify schools receiving big donations, and analyze the latest laws impacting community colleges and their students.
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Updated February 15, 2017 |
Community College Costs: February Week 2 Trends
Learn about trending community college topics this week such as San Francisco's move toward free tuition at community colleges and the rise in hunger and homelessness among community college students across the country.

Many students opt to attend community college over traditional four-year schools because it is generally cheaper to attend community college. But there are always hidden fees and extra costs to consider as an incoming student. This week on social media, various topics related to community college costs have been trending including Detroit’s action to make community college free and San Francisco’s move to use taxes to pay for community college. There was also an interesting post made by NPR regarding a rise in hunger and homelessness as college costs increase.

San Francisco Becomes First U.S. City to Offer Tuition-Free Community College

On Saturday, February 11 the Twitter handle @CNN (CNN News) posted a link to a news article regarding San Francisco’s decision to offer free community college to all residents starting in the fall of 2017. San Francisco will be the first U.S. city to make this choice and it has many residents in uproar, considering that the tuition costs will be paid for by property taxes equaling more than $5 million. CNN news writer Katie Lobosco reports that this tax is called the “real estate transfer tax” and it was increased in 2016 for both commercial and residential properties, an increase that was approved by voters in November of 2016.

The real estate transfer tax begins at 2.25% and goes as high as 3% for properties with an estimated worth exceeding $25 million. The tax is expected to bring in an average

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Updated August 06, 2015
Why Four Year Community College Degrees May Be Great for California
Recently, a measure passed that allows community colleges in California to offer 4 year degrees. Until now such offerings have been the sole province of other institutions. Now, the game has changed.
There’s a change coming in California.
 
Recently, a measure passed that allows community colleges in California to offer 4 year degrees. Until now such offerings have been the sole province of other institutions. Now, the game has changed.
 
On September 28, 2014, California Governor Jerry Brown signed Senate Bill 850 (Block) authorizing up to 15 California community college districts to offer a single Baccalaureate degree on a pilot basis. Ultimately, the goal of the bill is to create one million bachelor’s-degree jobs by 2025.
California Community Colleges Four Year 2
A Better College System
 
Former California State Senator Dean Florez says this measure is a powerful move in the right direction. “Allowing California Community colleges to offer four year skill-based degrees has grown from a long simmering recognition—from students, employers and government leaders—that skills matter more today than how and where they were acquired. This new four-year program offers students a more accessible and shorter education pathway with a recognized skill-based credential.” 
 
“Students benefit with a tailored personalized degree program directed in part by employers, blending their career needs with an affordable degree.  It is also very cost effective, given the planned BA degrees will be under $10,000 dollars, which is nearly one-half the cost of California State's four year schools and one-eighth the cost of a traditional University of California four-year degree.  Most community college students can't afford to give up four or five years of income while accumulating six-figure debt, so this degree program is critically
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Updated May 31, 2016 |
Arizona Community Colleges Defunded: What Students Need to Know
Leading the country in slashing public education spending, Arizona voted to defund higher education, including Pima and Maricopa Community College Districts, leaving many Arizona college students wondering what this new state legislation means for the future of their education.
As much of the country expands funding for community colleges, and with that funding, improved course offerings and increased access to higher education, Arizona has taken the unusual step of taking funding away from some of its community college systems.  In fact, according to data just released by the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, Arizona continues its legacy in 2015 as it did in 2014: leading America in slashes to funding – and in tuition increases.   
 
Most impacted are two of the state’s largest community college districts – Maricopa County Community College system and Pima Community College. For several years, budget cuts for higher education spending have been the norm. However, what makes these proposed cuts significant is that it removes state funding altogether. Rather than getting a few million dollars, both the Maricopa and Pima community college systems would receive zero dollars in the next fiscal year as part of the state’s new budget.   What does this mean for students? 
 
Uproar from Higher Ed
 
Understandably, higher education officials in Arizona are not pleased with this outcome. Arizona currently ranks first in terms of higher education funding cuts. This is due in part to drastic moves by the state during the Great Recession to remain solvent. However, although the Great Recession has ended, spending is still being cut in Arizona as the state faces a $1.5 billion budget shortfall.
In fact, the latest round of proposed cuts is just one in
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Updated May 31, 2016 |
Free Community College Coming Soon? President Obama Hopes So
Earlier this year, President Obama outlined a proposal that would make community college free for millions of community college students. What does it mean for you?
So you want to go to college but can’t afford it. Perhaps you don’t want to take out loans that will take you decades to pay off. Or maybe you don’t think you’d get many (or any) scholarships or grants because your grades are just good enough but not that great, or because you make just enough money to not be considered in great financial need.
 
If the President has his way, none of this will matter.
 
In January in his State of the Union Address, President Obama outlined a $60 billion plan that would make community college free for everyone. And while ‘everyone’ doesn’t actually mean everyone, the plan still would open a lot of doors for students who may not otherwise be able to attend college.
What are the Criteria?
The criteria for tuition-free community college under the Obama plan are fairly straightforward. Students must maintain at least a 2.5 GPA, which works out to a smattering of Bs and Cs – grades that are easily achieved by most students. Attendance must be at least half-time, which is typically considered to be six or more credit hours each semester. That’s just two classes per semester, which again, is easily achievable by most students, even those that work or have other obligations outside of school. In short, students that put in the effort would get a free education.
 
There is, however, a third criterion. Presumably to limit the long-term costs of the program, the plan would be
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Updated January 25, 2017 |
For-Profit Universities Looking to Partner with Community Colleges
The University of Phoenix has unveiled plans to partner with numerous community colleges nationwide, but not everyone is on board with the new plan.
In their quest to find effective transfer agreements for their students, community colleges appear to be tapping an unlikely source – for-profit schools. The University of Phoenix has announced partnerships pending with a number of community colleges across the country to offer students at these schools seamless four-year degree options. However, not everyone believes the union between for-profit schools and community colleges will be an amicable or beneficial one.
 
100 New Partnerships Announced by For-Profit
 
The American Independent reports that the University of Phoenix plans to launch more than 100 partnerships with various community colleges nationwide during this upcoming school year. The for-profit university hopes that the new arrangements will provide the financial shot in the arm the institution needs after suffering significant budget setbacks in recent years. Reputation is also a concern for University of Phoenix, as the for-profit sector has been plagued with reports of low completion rates and high student debt.
 
Despite promises of dozens of partnerships by the end of 2013, the University of Phoenix has only finalized agreements with a handful of community colleges thus far. The most notable is a transfer agreement with Northern Virginia Community College, also known as NOVA. NOVA has received plenty of attention from the recent administration, since this is the school where Dr. Jill Biden, wife of Vice President Joe Biden, teaches.
 
The second system that has formed a partnership with the University of Phoenix is the Maricopa Community College System in Arizona. According to a press release
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Community College News