More states link funding to outcomes

Sixteen states now link higher education funding to student outcomes, such as graduation rates, and more are planning to do so. Tennessee links 95 percent of college funding to performance measures. Illinois links 1 percent.

Indiana community colleges may close

Indiana’s rapidly growing statewide community college system, may close up to 20 of its 76 campuses to deal with a $68 million funding gap. Ivy Tech is considered “a national model for statewide efficiency,” but receives only $2,543 per student in state funding.

California plan: More $ for higher ed

California colleges and universities get more funding in Gov. Jerry Brown’s budget plan, but it’s not all about the benjamins. Among other changes, the state’s community colleges would be funded based on end-of term enrollment, not who’s there in the third week.

Flush with revenues from the oil-and-gas boom, North Dakota is spending more on higher education. Enrollment is down at Montana community colleges as young people take “brown jobs” in the oil fields, but some colleges are offering free tuition or special job training to compete.

Who needs remedial ed?

Prompted by research questioning the reliability of placement tests, Long Beach City College in California will use high school grades to decide whether students need remedial classes. Until now, some A and B students have failed placement tests while a small number of C and D students have passed.

Also on Community College Spotlight: California community colleges face a  $551 million funding swing depending on whether voters approve a tax measure on the November ballot.

Math and science without fear

On Community College Spotlight: Americans need to get over their fear of math and science, says Freeman Hrabowski, president of the University of Maryland, Baltimore County.

Texas considers linking 10 percent of college funding to student outcomes, such as completing a degree.