More pressures on community colleges

Community colleges fighting to cope
Community college students traditionally have been diverse in age and ethnicity, but have typically been lower-income. This trend is changing, however. Davis Jenkins, a senior researcher at the Community College Research Center, said colleges he has worked with have observed an increase in middle-class students.

These wealthier students often have significant advantages, Jenkins said, which could cut into opportunities for poorer students.

“Those middle-class students tend to apply early, they’re more likely to get financial aid, they know how to work the system, they’re better able to use the advising systems and academic support than lower income students, who are maybe more likely to be first-generation college students,” Jenkins said.

Community colleges are fighting to embrace the student flood with mixed results, he said.

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