"The plan is designed to correct decades of federal neglect. 'Too often, community colleges are treated like an afterthoughtif they're thought of at all,' Obama said in his speech. Right now, somewhere between one-third and one-half of American undergrads are at community colleges, depending how you count. Yet community colleges receive only 20 percent of federal funding. 'We've been so focused on the quality and reputation of our lead institutions' at the expense of community colleges, says Thomas Bailey of the Community College Research Center at Columbia University."