Are Community Colleges Underfunded And Under Performing?

Pop quiz: What’s the biggest category of college or university in the United States? Is it big public research universities like UC Berkeley or the University of Texas at Austin? Or is it their private equivalents, like Boston University and Brigham Young? Maybe all the small liberal arts colleges, like the University of Mary Washington or St. John’s in Annapolis have, between them, the most students. Correct answer: None of the above. According to Delta Cost Project, the biggest category of schools, by full-time enrollment, is actually public community colleges. In 2010, 4.25 million students were enrolled full-time in community colleges, accounting for a third of the whole full-time student population. And that’s not even taking into account the many part-time students who rely on community colleges. The trouble is that America’s community colleges are underfunded and underperforming. While research universities are increasing spending at a rapid pace, community colleges are actually spending less. The post is in The Washington Post’s Wonkblog.

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