College & Workforce Readiness

Lack of Funding and Planning Hurts College Access, Completion

By Caralee J. Adams — December 08, 2011 2 min read
  • Save to favorites
  • Print

Continued state budget cuts, increased enrollment, rising tuition, and lack of long-term planning paint a dim picture for higher education in a new report released today from the University of Alabama’s Education Policy Center.

“It seems like an almost impossible task to increase the college-completion agenda,” says Janice Friedel, associate professor in the community college leadership program at Iowa State University and co-author of the report, Challenging Success: Can College Degree Completion Be Increased as States Cut Budgets? along with Stephen G. Katsinas of the University of Alabama and Mark M. D’Amico of the University of North Carolina at Charlotte.

Lack of planning for how to deal with the current fiscal crisis was widespread among many of the National Council of State Directors of Community Colleges members surveyed this year for the report. Just four of 51 respondents indicate a long-term plan
exists to fund operating budgets needed to increase numbers of adults with college
degrees/certificates. And three of 51 said there was a long-term plan to fund capital budgets to support an increase.

To deal with the burgeoning demand, 16 report state directors reported de facto enrollment caps implemented at community colleges, while three of the five largest states
report their public flagship and regional universities had raised admission standards to
limit transfers.

The bottom line: By a 2-to-1 margin, state leaders said graduation-rate increases will be difficult to achieve, due to cost-cutting.

This lean environment may mean it’s more difficult for freshman college students to get into the programs they want and progress in a timely fashion, says Friedel. While discouraging, the message for high school students with their eyes on college is to be more savvy.

“Look for those strategies available to work with community colleges and high schools to enhance your preparation to do college-level work,” she says. While still in high school, amass college credit through AP courses and other programs. Also, try to determine a career focus before coming to campus so you don’t have to waste credits sampling a variety of classes, says Friedel.

Some colleges are working with high schools to administer placement tests to sophomores to determine if students are ready for college-level work. If help is needed, they can get up to speed while still in high school to avoid remedial courses in college, she adds.

A version of this news article first appeared in the College Bound blog.


Commenting has been disabled on edweek.org effective Sept. 8. Please visit our FAQ section for more details. To get in touch with us visit our contact page, follow us on social media, or submit a Letter to the Editor.


Events

This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Sponsor
Teaching Webinar
6 Key Trends in Teaching and Learning
As we enter the third school year affected by the pandemic—and a return to the classroom for many—we come better prepared, but questions remain. How will the last year impact teaching and learning this school
Content provided by Instructure
This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Sponsor
School & District Management Webinar
Ensuring Continuity of Learning: How to Prepare for the Next Disruption
Across the country, K-12 schools and districts are, again, considering how to ensure effective continuity of learning in the face of emerging COVID variants, politicized debates, and more. Learn from Alexandria City Public Schools superintendent
Content provided by Class
Teaching Profession Live Online Discussion What Have We Learned From Teachers During the Pandemic?
University of California, Santa Cruz, researcher Lora Bartlett and her colleagues spent months studying how the pandemic affected classroom teachers. We will discuss the takeaways from her research not only for teachers, but also for

EdWeek Top School Jobs

Teacher Jobs
Search over ten thousand teaching jobs nationwide — elementary, middle, high school and more.
View Jobs
Principal Jobs
Find hundreds of jobs for principals, assistant principals, and other school leadership roles.
View Jobs
Administrator Jobs
Over a thousand district-level jobs: superintendents, directors, more.
View Jobs
Support Staff Jobs
Search thousands of jobs, from paraprofessionals to counselors and more.
View Jobs

Read Next

College & Workforce Readiness Opinion Can College-Going Be Less Risky Without Being 'Free'?
Rick Hess speaks with Peter Samuelson, president of Ardeo Education Solutions, about Ardeo's approach to make paying for college less risky.
5 min read
Image shows a multi-tailed arrow hitting the bullseye of a target.
DigitalVision Vectors/Getty
College & Workforce Readiness Opinion What Will It Take to Get High School Students Back on Track?
Three proven strategies can support high school graduation and postsecondary success—during and after the pandemic.
Robert Balfanz
5 min read
Conceptual illustration of students making choices based on guidance.
Viktoria Kurpas/iStock
College & Workforce Readiness Opinion An Economist Explains How to Make College Pay
Rick Hess speaks with Beth Akers about practical advice regarding how to choose a college, what to study, and how to pay for it.
6 min read
Image shows a multi-tailed arrow hitting the bullseye of a target.
DigitalVision Vectors/Getty
College & Workforce Readiness What the Research Says College Enrollment Dip Hits Students of Color the Hardest
The pandemic led to a precipitous decline in enrollment for two-year schools, while four-year colleges and universities held steady.
3 min read
Conceptual image of blocks moving forward, and one moving backward.
Marchmeena29/iStock/Getty