Essay Workshop: Three Essays Examining Community College Funding Distribution and Expenditure

Thursday, August 6, 2020 10:00am - 12:00pm

Zoom Meeting - Virtual

 Public community colleges play a significant role in boosting higher education participation for historically underrepresented groups, such as first generation and adult students, supported by policies such as open admission, flexible course scheduling, low cost, and geographic access. Irrespective these conducive policies, in recent years the share of postsecondary students enrolling in community college has declined. This may reflect decreased levels of real spending per pupil and, hence, reduced quality. Despite this evidence, there is currently a move towards expanding access to community college, which has researchers asking whether existing funding models are up to the task. To date, research on addressing issues in community college funding models has commonly been focused on evidence of within state differences in public spending for community college. Yet little has been examined regarding the link between funding and student need, funding and input quality, and less still on estimating the actual cost of providing an adequate community college education. This series of essays aims to address those gaps in the literature by addressing the following questions: To what extent is the distribution of state financing of community colleges reflective of the socioeconomic backgrounds of the communities served? How does the stability and source of community college funding relate to investments in faculty? Can we estimate the cost of community college student completions via development of an education cost model and use this model to determine cost differences across states? To examine these questions, an institution-level panel dataset of community college was developed to investigate the relationship between household income and intrastate community college spending, the relationship between government-sourced revenue and investment in full-time faculty, and the cost of community college completions while controlling for state fixed effects.

Event Location:


Who to contact:

Richard Kasmin