M-RCBG Associate Working Paper No. 24

Improving the Financial Stability of Community College Students
Kash Patel and Francis Assaf



Community colleges are responsible for educating nearly half of the nation's undergraduates and are vital for providing affordable post-secondary education, labor force training and skills enhancement. Despite enrollment rates of community college students being at an all-time high, over the last 30 years graduation rates are only 20%, compared to 50% for 4-year college students. By 2018, there will be a need for an estimated 22 million new college graduates, with six in 10 jobs requiring a post-secondary degree. With completion rates where they are now, however, there will be a shortfall of 3 million college graduates.

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