The divide for disadvantaged students at community colleges continues to widen. Reasons for this are complex. However, if one were pressed to define the problem it boils down to resources. “Government funding skews toward universities with more advantaged students, due in part to research support and tax breaks,” says Paul Fain in his article, Equity Gaps Widen, published on InsideHigherEd.com.
Students attending community colleges have far fewer resources than their four-year college counterparts. And, because community colleges are more affordable, a larger sector of their student populations are from underprivileged backgrounds. So, what are the resources that community college students lack?
Per student costs. When you eliminate the higher cost of on-campus housing and faculty research funding typically found at 4-year institutions, 2-year colleges are able to spend about $5,000 per student. That figure is doubled to $10,000 at public research colleges, and quadrupled to $20,000 at most private research colleges.
Access to learning resources. While a community college is able to supply a moderate amount of technology for students and their learning process, students often have to rely on their own technology to complete online courses, write papers, do research, etc. Most large universities provide a more ample supply of technology for students, even though the general student population comes from more affluent backgrounds, and already has access to technology at home.
As a company that prioritizes streamlining the learning process, Labyrinth Learning is hopeful that emerging reports on existing disparities will help to shift to create a more equitable funding solution.
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