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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