Community colleges enroll more students, from more diverse backgrounds, than any other sector in the American postsecondary system. Although tuition and fees at community colleges are less expensive than in other sectors, students still struggle to cover their full cost of attendance, which totals approximately $17,000 per year. There is a growing body of research showing that students’ ability to pay non-tuition costs during college – including textbooks, transportation, food, and housing – is an important factor in student success. Students whose resources do not stretch far enough to cover these costs must make choices that undermine their academic success, such as foregoing required textbooks or working long hours rather than studying. Financial aid from federal, state, and even institutional sources can help students cover expenses while avoiding harmful tradeoffs, and research consistently demonstrates that aid facilitates student enrollment and success.
Author(s): Association of Community College Trustees, The Institute for College Access & Success
Publication Date: 2017
Topic(s): California, Higher/Postsecondary Education
Resource Type: Research / Report
Recommended Audience(s): Agency Leaders and Professionals
Click to Download: Aiding Success: The Role of Federal and State Financial Aid in Supporting California Community College Students