RELEASE: New 50-State Analysis Reveals a Massive $78 Billion Funding Gap Between Community and 4-Year Public Colleges

Washington, D.C. — Today, the Center for American Progress released a new report containing national and 50-state analysis of revenue gaps between community colleges and four-year public colleges. The report also looks at how these funding gaps vary on a per-student basis.

The report finds that community colleges receive $8,800 less in education revenue per full-time equivalent student enrolled than four-year institutions—a total gap of $78 billion between the two sectors. In other words, the per-student revenue gap between community colleges and four-year institutions is roughly the same size as the typical annual revenue taken in by a community college. The report also reveals significant disparities within and across states and regions, including disparities in the revenue sources that drive community college funding shortfalls.

“This analysis makes clear that President Donald Trump’s decision to hold stimulus funding for states and public colleges hostage could have disastrous consequences for higher education, but particularly for Black and Latinx, first generation, and low-income students who disproportionately attend community colleges. Without relief, state cuts to higher education are likely to lead to increases in tuition and fees, which could exacerbate the gaps identified in this report,” said Victoria Yuen, policy analyst for Postsecondary Education at CAP and author of the report.

Read the report: “The $78 Billion Community College Funding Shortfall” by Victoria Yuen.

For more information or to speak with an expert, please contact Colin Seeberger at or 202.741.6292.