The One to Count On...

State Funding for Community Colleges at a Low

Posted: Thursday, March 29th, 2012 at 6:25 am
Author: KCII News - Brad Gaspelin

News coverage of tuition debates for Iowa’s public universities is everywhere, but another form of post-secondary education isn’t talked about as much. Community colleges in the state have seen rising enrollment numbers for the past years, but state funding hasn’t kept up. Community colleges are increasingly relying on tuition for funding now. Bill Meck with Southeastern Community College says for fiscal year 2011, tuition made up 51% of their funding. That is the first time tuition had broken the 50% mark at the college. Meck says state funding has increased over the years, but the percentage of the schools budget that comes from state funding has been eroding. He thinks that although lawmakers are focusing much of their efforts on tuition costs at universities, the community colleges haven’t been forgotten. He thinks more communication is needed with lawmakers about the importance of community colleges and the funding they receive from the state.