No Free Lunch Indeed:NYT article on shortage of spots at Community Colleges

<p>At</a> Community Colleges, Open Access Is Latest Cutback - NYTimes.com</p>

<p>It's a trickle down effect from the state flagships all the way down the chain, and it's going to remain ugly for the Community colleges in the coming years.</p>

<p>I know high school kids who can't get into classes for summer and students at CC's that couldn't get their classes in fall and spring...and things don't look better for this fall, either.</p>

<p>We have the same problem here - the tuition at the state flagship has increased far more than inflation over the past ten years and all the home equity is gone from the suburbs. Kids are flooding to community colleges because they cannot afford state four-year colleges. At the same time, budget woes are causing cuts in the sections offered at CCs. Kids can't register for class, but the schoos are pushing on-line classes.</p>

<p>Something interesting I noticed at my community college was the number of students who were just there because their parents made them or to stay on their parents' health insurance. Most of my classes would start with 50+ students then end up with <25. I've heard many students complain that the class they wanted was full in the beginning of the semester so they couldn't get in, but by the end there were only 15 people.</p>

<p>^Yup, especially STEM-related classes. My recent College Algebra class began with roughly 31 students and by semester's end there were only 8 students left.</p>

<p>I better get moving.</p>

<p>I wonder how long our local CC can avoid this. Enrollment is higher than ever, but we just built an additional building for biomedical sciences and so far no problems getting into any classes, we have dozens of sections open for just about all courses. I definitely didn't run into too many students who were openly only there because their parents made them or to stay on insurance, either. o.O What a waste of money.</p>

<p>Something to keep in mind with CCs and attrition: many CCs are open admission, so students figure out fairly quickly whether they can or cannot do the work.</p>

<p>D has finished a year at the CC. The attrition rates in her classes are nowhere as bad as what some of you report (8 drops in her Calc II class, for example), and while there are drops in every class, generally she says they are not losing too many.</p>

<p>So far she's gotten all of her classes, but then she enrolled as an honors student and therefore gets priority. My impression is that the CC wants full classes, no half-enrolled classes to start; this may help explain the problem with getting classes. But it's hard to imagine that they can't find the teachers, and I assume most CCs have plenty of class rooms. Tuition must not cover costs. It's sad. The article should be required reading for HS students that won't be able, for whatever reason, to attend a 4 year school. It might motivate some HS kids to work harder.</p>

<p>^^Tuition at our local CC covers about one third of the cost with state and county funds making up the difference. And our CC will let a class go if it has about eight students.</p>

<p>I just read that the CCs in the state where my daughter is attending will have fee hikes from around $1 to $18 depending on the state budget results. I think that they've already had fee hikes based on the best budget (from the Governor). The House and Senate provide much less of a state contribution.</p>