Results Portraying Community College Students
- Almost half of the undergraduate students in public colleges
and universities in the U.S. are now enrolled in community colleges.
Typically older than the traditional 18 to 22-year-old college student
(the average community college student is 29), most community college
students are juggling their college studies with other responsibilities
to jobs and families. Thirty-three percent of survey respondents
have children living at home; and even among students taking a full
load of classes, 47% work more than 20 hours a week. Most are financially
independent of their parents, and 45% of surveyed students report
that lack of finances would be a likely or very likely cause for
them to drop out of college.
- Community college students have varied and multiple educational
goals – 53% of survey respondents indicate that their primary
goal is to transfer to a four-year college or university; however,
59% say their primary goal is to obtain an associate degree. (Respondents
may have more than one goal, which is common among community college
students.). Seventeen percent report they are taking classes at
more than one institution simultaneously, and 25% have already earned
some kind of postsecondary credential – a vocational certificate
or an associate, bachelor’s, or graduate degree. Almost two-thirds
(64%) attend college part-time.
- Despite the challenges they face, community college students
express a high degree of satisfaction with their educational experience.
Ninety-five percent would recommend their college to a friend or
family member, and 86% rate their overall educational experience
at the college as good or excellent. Sixty-nine percent indicate
that their college provides the support they need to succeed at
the college either “quite a bit” or “very much.”
By contrast, though, only 42% feel that they are able to get the
financial support they need to afford their education.
For more results portraying community college students, see CCSSE's
2004 National Report, Engagement
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