College Funding

Community colleges are coping with major budget deficits, and this section covers how students are being impacted. From local fundraising efforts to federal grants, we’ll explore how community colleges are staying afloat despite funding cuts and cost increases.
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Hands Across California: Community College Students Band Together to Save the System
Facing a monumental budget crisis, California's community college students took matters into their own hands, holding rallies and conferences for Hands Across California.
California is in the midst of a very real budget crisis, and students of higher education are feeling the pinch just as much – if not more – than the rest of the state. According to a recent report at Mercury News, Governor Jerry Brown's proposed budget cuts would trim another $400 million from community colleges and raise student fees by 40 percent. Some predict that the reduction would result in about 400,000 community college students not being able to get the courses they need to complete their degree programs. While lawmakers continue to debate the proposed budget and its effect on California residents, college students are taking matters into their own hands.
 
What is Hands Across California?

Hands Across California is the latest organized effort by Ken Kragen, known for his work with Hands across America, NetAid and We are the World fundraisers. Kragen entered the picture to help community college advocates raise awareness of the financial needs of students across the state. According to the Huffington Post, this movement, which took place on April 17, served two purposes: to raise awareness of the critical needs of today's college students and to raise funding that will support those needy students through additional scholarships.

Money that was raised through Hands across California will go directly to support the California Community Colleges Scholarship Endowment. The Bernard Osher Foundation has pledged a 50 percent match to all funds collected. This organization is well known for its support of the California
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Culinary Arts, Athletics, Massage Therapy and More: Programs Cut at Community Colleges
Against massive budget cuts, community colleges have been forced to take drastic measures, including cutting entire programs ranging from the culinary arts to athletics.
When budgets are slashed, spending is cut right along the falling numbers, and that is precisely what many community colleges are facing during today's economic crunch.  Unfortunately, programs are often the victims of penny-pinching, with colleges slashing programs in everything from culinary arts to massage therapy. We will take a look at a few of the community colleges across the country that are facing big challenges in balancing their budgets – and who the real losers will be in the long run.
 

Cutting Programs at St. Charles

St. Charles Community College in Missouri is just one of the schools in this state that is scrutinizing programs to determine which ones can be cut without hurting student opportunities in popular fields. According to a recent report in the Suburban Journals, SCC is planning to delete five associate degree programs from their course catalogue next year: massage therapy, environmental science, electronics engineering technology, industrial maintenance technology and medical transcription. The programs were listed in a review of public and community college academic programs released by Missouri Governor Jay Nixon.

 
College officials have stated that the programs slated for the ax have low enrollment numbers, and none have any students currently going through the programs. Michael Banks, SCC vice president of academics and student affairs, told SJ, "These five are not going to impact us and will be gone from the books by June 30." According to school records, none of these programs have graduated students in the last three years. They were on a list of
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Community College Spending Exposed: $5.7 Billion Lost in Los Angeles
An investigation revealed major construction errors, immediate demolition of newly renovated buildings, and millions lost in administrative blunders in the Los Angeles Community College District. Learn about how billions lost due to poor planning and terrible mistakes in Los Angeles.
Few would argue that the budgets of most community colleges across the country are pinched to the limit today. The answer to overcrowded classrooms, long waitlists, and decrepit buildings seems obvious: pump more money into the system and then stand back to watch the benefits unfold.  However, in a recent expose, the Los Angeles Community College simply wasted millions of taxpayer dollars that were meant to improve the campuses through poor planning, questionable contract awards, and construction blunders.
 
How it Happened in L.A.
 
With billions raised through a series of bond measures that would total around $11 billion when all was said and done, the district was clearly poised to bring the community colleges of Los Angeles into the 21st century. According to the Los Angeles Times, the money was supposed to be spent to ease overcrowding in classrooms, beef up seismic protections, and add new technology to the learning experience.
 
It sounded great to Los Angeles voters, which is why they agreed to the proposed bond issues, which raised property taxes for the next 50 years. It sounded great to the many students that were ready to further their education and professional careers through coursework at community colleges throughout the district. It sounded really great to the construction companies and contractors hired to do the work, pumping money into California's economy and bringing jobs to many who needed them.
 
Alas, the reality did not work out so well for this community college district. On the other end of this project, it is now realized that billions
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California Community College Students Protest Fee Hikes with Ramen Symbolism
Amidst proposed fee hikes, community college students march to state buildings, toting not only signs, but pallets of Ramen too.
It is not unusual in the least for college students to paint signs and march for a cause. Peaceful protests have long been a tradition in the world of higher education. However, recent protests in California over tuition hikes and other changes to campuses across the state have brought something new to the protest scene – Ramen noodles. As students demonstrate their concern over higher tuition rates and fewer available classes, Ramen has become the symbol of struggling college students trying to make ends meet.

Governor Brown's Tuition Hike

Governor Brown just took the California Governor's office a few short months ago, but already he is the target of ire from community college students across his state. The reason? In an effort to balance the budget without cutting additional community college courses and services, Governor Brown has proposed a tuition hike at community colleges throughout California. While the rate increase may not seem insurmountable, at just $10 a credit hour, the total amount of the increase over a year's time is $300. That is a considerable increase for many community college students that are barely making ends meet now.

In addition to the tuition increase, community college students are already grappling with larger class sizes, fewer classroom openings and cuts to services across campus. Some classrooms no longer have enough desks or chairs for all of the students that come in, forcing some to stand or sit on the floor during class. Others can't get into the classes they need at
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Innovation Fund America: Community Colleges Dole Venture Capital Funding
Community colleges may just become the next venture capitalists. Learn about the Innovation Fund American program and how community colleges are helping to inject investment dollars into local start-ups.
Small businesses and entrepreneurships have long been touted as the top growth factor in this nation's economy. In the interest of jumpstarting and sustaining economic growth at a time when the financial climate of the country has been sluggish at best, new programs are matching up entrepreneurs with community colleges to provide the infrastructure necessary to get these new business start-ups off the ground. The idea began as a local movement, but quickly went national as federal legislators and President Obama hopped onboard the entrepreneurship bandwagon. This article will explore the innovative new approach to economic stimulus that pairs business and community college in a synergistic relationship.
 
Humble Beginnings in Ohio
 
Lorain County Community College is teaming up with some new businesses in Ohio to provide innovation and jobs to a community in need. The Innovation Fund, started by this institution, offers grants to high-tech start-ups so they have the opportunity to test out their new technology and attract investors to their business.

According to a report on WhiteHouse.gov, one of the first companies to reap the benefits of this fund is ABS Materials. The company has produced an absorbent material dubbed "Osorb," which soaks up organic contaminants like a sponge to help clean up oil spills and polluted waterways. The company has begun generating revenue from their idea in just two short years, providing economic stimulus and jobs to this Ohio community along the way.
 
President Obama was so intrigued by the Ohio infrastructure,
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