Black and Minority Students Are Being Squeezed Out of Community Colleges

In a new report, The Center for the Future of Higher Education, warns that cuts to education are eliminating opportunities for low-income and minority students to enroll in community colleges.

The report states: “Community college enrollments have declined in the last two years. In percentage terms the declines are relatively small; but in absolute numbers and in human terms, they are profoundly significant. Hundreds of thousands of prospective students are knocking on the doors of community colleges and are being denied access because the colleges have insufficient capacity to serve them.”

The problem is especially severe in California. There, 140,000 students have been turned away from community colleges in the past year. This number may double in the near future.

The data shows that due to significant increases in tuition, low-income students are becoming an increasingly smaller share of all students at community colleges. And Black and Hispanic students are a disproportionate share of this low-income group.

The report, Closing the Door, Increasing the Gap: Who’s Not Going to (Community) College?, is authored by Gary Rhoades, professor and director of the Center for the Study of Higher Education at the University of Arizona. The full report or the executive summary can be downloaded here.


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