Center for American Progress

The $78 Billion Reason Why Community Colleges Need America’s Attention

The $78 Billion Reason Why Community Colleges Need America’s Attention

Nationally, community colleges receive $78 billion less in revenue than public four-year institutions, leading to disparate outcomes among their student populations.

In 2016, community colleges enrolled nearly half, or 45 percent, of students who attended public institutions. Despite playing a vital role in educating the nation’s workforce, community colleges are inadequately funded; in 2016, they received two-fifths of what four-year colleges received in educational revenue. Community colleges are open-access institutions, and this funding disparity harms the students who are more likely to attend them—low-income students, Black and Latinx students, working parents, and others. Watch the video below to learn more.

Animation by Dave Leonard.

Victoria Yuen is a policy analyst for Postsecondary Education at the Center for American Progress. Viviann Anguiano is an associate director for Postsecondary Education at the Center.

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Victoria Yuen

Policy Analyst

Viviann Anguiano

Associate Director, Postsecondary Education

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