Edited By Joseph L. DeVitis and Pietro A. Sasso
10. The Commercialization of the Community College
E. KEITH KROLL
Community colleges matter. According to the National Center for Education Statistics, 95% of community colleges are open admission; they enroll 42% of first-time freshmen and 45% of all undergraduates, including 59% of Native American students, 56% of Hispanic students, and 48% of black students. When compared with four-year institutions, they enroll larger percentages of nontraditional, low-income, and minority students. Thirty-six percent of community college students are the first generation in their families to attend college (Fast Facts From Our Fact Sheet, n.d.). Community college tuition costs remain “approximately 50% lower” than four-year institutions (“The Top 10 Benefits,” n.d.). Uniquely American, it is not an exaggeration to call community colleges the most democratic institutions in higher education.
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