Budget Crisis Takes Its Toll on Black Students at California Community Colleges

Due to the budget crisis and cuts in appropriations the University of California and California State University systems are reducing enrollments. This has produced a surge in enrollments at California community colleges, where enrollments cannot be capped. This year enrollments are up 10 percent. The state budgeted for a 2 percent enrollment increase.

As a result, the demand for places in the most popular courses is overwhelming capacity. It has become extremely difficult for many students at these colleges to get into the courses they need to obtain their two-year associate’s degrees or to meet the qualifications to transfer to a four-year state university. At some community colleges in California, the waiting list for entrance into some of the most popular classes is three times the number of students who are allowed to enroll.

The California Community College system is the largest higher education system in the United States. The system includes 109 colleges statewide. It serves more than 1.8 million students. More than 130,000 of these students are African American. It is likely that the community college crunch in California will prevent tens of thousands of African Americans in the state from achieving their dreams of higher education.