Rebuilding America’s Middle Class (RAMC), A coalition of community colleges, today issued the following statement in response to new data from the National Student Clearing House that shows an eight percent decline in community college enrollments:
Community colleges serve some of the nation’s most vulnerable college-going populations, including working adults, low-income, and minority students. These students often juggle childcare responsibilities and job demands as they pursue postsecondary programs in an effort to build a better future for themselves and their families. Now more than ever, as our nation struggles with a once-in-a-lifetime pandemic crisis and an economic downturn, we cannot allow these students to be left behind or shut out of critical higher education opportunities.
While the latest enrollment data from RAMC community colleges does not present the stark declines reported by the National Student Clearing House, the national picture raises red flags for our membership. It is imperative congressional leaders take action to provide much-needed relief to community colleges so we can continue to serve a diverse student body and provide affordable education and workforce training opportunities that will be critical to building a stronger, more prosperous future.
In August, RAMC submitted a letter to Congress requesting lawmakers reconsider how federal COVID relief aid is distributed to postsecondary institutions, noting that the current process of calculating funding allocations based on full-time equivalency puts community colleges at a distinct disadvantage. Read the letter here.