To boost the economy, increase access to community college

North Carolina’s community college system helps workers upgrade their skills, and helps our state build toward the economy of the future. But, a new report from the Budget & Tax Center says, we need to do far more to promote access.

Here are a few of the facts contained in a news release about the report, released today by author Alexandra Forter Sirota:

  • National evidence suggests that 45 percent of students are failing to complete their education programs due to financial strain.
  • For unemployed workers seeking to upgrade their skills and stimulate North Carolina’s economy, access to community college is critical. Yet only about one-third of North Carolina’s community college campuses (21 of 58) offer access to federal student loan programs

  • Sending one student to community college costs working families about one-third of their total family income. The cost of full-time enrollment in community college represents 32 percent of family income for those families in the lowest 40 percent of the income distribution in North Carolina.
  • Tuition at NC community colleges has skyrocketed over the past decade. Since 2000, tuition cost per credit hour has increased by 80 percent.

  • It isn’t just tuition that serves as a financial barrier. When costs such as transportation, books and room and board are included, students face an average financial need after financial aid of 80 percent of their education costs.

We’ll be offering up more interesting community college facts throughout the day on the @ncjustice Twitter feed as well.

2 Comments

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