However, many states have found that the current economic crunch and exceedingly high unemployment rate are forcing them to make difficult decisions when balancing their budgets. Some of those decisions involve cutting funding to institutions of higher education –just when schools need money the most. When less money is available, students tend to suffer from fewer services and crowded classes that make it difficult to graduate on time. Less funding also means fewer options in financial aid and higher tuition rates, which often price many low-income students right out of the community college market.
New Report Shows Shrinking Budgets Impacting Completion Rates
A new report from the National Center for Public Policy and Higher Education shows a direct correlation between less funding and diminishing completion rates at many community colleges around the country. According to the agency’s website, the report, titled, “Affordability and Transfer: Critical to Increasing Baccalaureate Degree Completion,” was designed to address the vital role community colleges play in the quest for bachelor’s degrees. Many students who cannot afford to move directly into a four-year institution begin their higher education career at community colleges in hopes of transferring their credits to a four-year university once they have earned their associate degree or professional certificate.