A new brief from The Institute for College Access and Success (TICAS) adds to growing research about disparities in college funding and the consequential impact on student outcomes.
Titled “Inequitable Funding, Inequitable Results: Racial Disparities at Public Colleges,” the issue brief notes that community colleges and regional universities – schools that disproportionately enroll low-income students and students of color – receive less state funding, driving “persistent gaps” in educational attainment by race and income.
“Students of color disproportionately attend underfunded colleges where they are less likely to graduate,” said TICAS president James Kvaal in a statement. “These days, there are too many free college plans to count. Presidential candidates and members of Congress need to make sure that their plans address the inequalities in college finance that drive the inequalities in college completion.”
TICAS’ brief calls for Congress to promote equity in higher education by providing a list of policy recommendations:
1. Provide adequate, stable federal funding to states to help them weather economic cycles without steep cuts to education funding;
2. Require that states maintain or increase their own investment;
3. Require that states assess and address funding inequities for colleges serving large numbers of low-income students and students of color;
4. Promote the development of statewide, longitudinal data to inform policy decisions.