Many community college students come from low-income, minority households where the family is not able to assist with college costs. Students, therefore, often work to support themselves and concurrently pay for their education. Community colleges can accommodate students whose work schedules or lack of support services, such as transportation and childcare, prevent them from accessing support resources during standard business hours and where language barriers can exacerbate the already confusing process. The college funding process is complicated in general, and students without a personal support network need more direct interaction—in person or online—with college counselors to understand their options and make informed financing choices.

Creating personalized plans for students that step them through the college funding process from initial interest to successful completion is essential to increasing graduation and transfer rates. Using data to track what strategies work for what types of students can help institutions more quickly identify at-risk students, provide timely support, and optimize positive outcomes.

Data related to American community college populations are presented below as a supplement to the cover story in this issue of Innovatus, Shifting the Focus From Student Financial Aid to Student Financial Success.


Letter From the Chair

As open institutions with a commitment to student access and success, it is essential for community college faculty, staff, and leadership to…

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Shifting the Focus From Student Financial Aid to Student Financial Success

We are in the midst of a student financial aid crisis. Student loan debt exceeds $1.5 trillion, 70 percent of college graduates leave school with…

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Can Artificial Intelligence Make Classroom Discussion Better?

For millennia, the Socratic method has been a pillar of effective, engaging classroom discussion. Rooted in sparking thoughtful dialogue among…

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Shared Leadership Throughout the Community College

The COVID-19 pandemic has helped expose two systemic flaws in higher education. First is the inflexibility of the traditional learning model, and…

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Innovative Solutions for Hunger Relief and Student Success

Almost half of U.S. community college students responding to the #RealCollege survey conducted by the Hope Center for College, Community and Justice…

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Working Together for Student Success: Course Sharing, Access, and Retention to Completion

For years, access was solely about opening doors to those who didn’t know they belonged in our classrooms.

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Community College Programs Are Crucial to Getting Americans Back to Work

America faces a desperate shortage of workers with the skills and training to do the jobs that keep the economy and the country going, including jobs…

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From Bold Vision to Meaningful Results: Ensuring a Work-Based Experience for Every Student

The Art and Science of Culture Change creates a visual, linguistic, and conceptual infrastructure that provides scaffolding for shared…

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