Stronger State Community College Finance as a Lever for Student Success

Date & Time

For community colleges to reach their full potential as drivers of prosperity and equity, research partners HCM and CCRC, argue that states must create strong, stable, coherent finance systems that enable and incentivize colleges to better meet pressing state interests and student needs. To do so, policymakers need clear, comprehensive and state-specific pictures of how current finance systems operate. College leaders need sufficient resources that can be deployed in service of their institutional priorities, including equitable attainment.

This presentation will share insights and recommendations from research that maps the community college finance systems in California, Ohio and Texas. These states vary in terms of location, demographics, and the size and structure of their community colleges, yet each has recently seen notable efforts to change aspects of their community college finance system. HCM identified and analyzed the policies that control each state’s major revenue streams, their implications for institutional behavior, and their effects on equity. Additionally, CCRC researchers will present findings from an institutional analysis conducted at 8 community colleges across California, Ohio, and Texas that examined institutional funding and choices leaders made about how limited resources should be allocated. It also analyzed the colleges’ student success initiatives–how they operate, who they serve, and their resource requirements–with a focus on the ways institutional policy and practice is affected by the local and state economic and political context.



Martha Snyder
Managing Director of Postsecondary Education Transformation
HCM Strategists

Stephanie Murphy
Director of Postsecondary State Policy and Research
HCM Strategists

Carmen Huynh
Senior Research Assistant
Community College Research Center

Ariel Deutsch
Project Assistant
Community College Research Center

Jack Hershey
President & CEO
Ohio Association of Community Colleges