Concerned about college access and affordability, education donors are looking at funding community colleges, reports the New York Times.
. . . as college diplomas become increasingly important and costs continue to shoot upward, foundations are asking how they can ensure that low-income students attend college and graduate.
These questions are especially relevant at community colleges, which enroll nearly half of all freshmen each year, typically those with the weakest academic records and the lowest likelihood of graduating.
Community colleges are a better investment for donors, says Gadfly.
However, most students who start at a community college with hopes of earning a degree never make the distance. California’s community colleges do poorly in helping students earn a degree, concludes a new report by the Public Policy Institute of California.
Of students who entered community colleges in 1997, half left after a year, said Ria Sengupta, the report’s co-author. About a quarter of students who enter with the intention of transferring actually transferred, and only one in 10 who took transfer- or degree-oriented classes earned an associate’s degree.
White and Asian-American students were much more likely to transfer to a four-year institution than black and Hispanic students.
Less than half of students primarily take general education courses that will enable them to transfer to a four-year university or earn a two-year degree; 16 percent take vocational classes, 14 percent focus on basic skills and English as a Second Language and others enroll for enrichment classes.