Community College Finance: A Guide for Institutional Leaders
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More About This Title Community College Finance: A Guide for Institutional Leaders


Smart financial management means more students served

Community College Finance provides an introduction to best practices for community college leaders and their boards, with guidance on the complex regulations, processes, and considerations surrounding the financial management of these unique institutions. As community colleges continue to increase in importance, this book provides non-technical yet extensive information to guide current and future leaders toward the establishment of effective processes to secure and maintain the funding that is so crucial to the education and future of millions of students nationwide. Readers will gain insight into the background and foundation of community college finance and learn the essentials of practice in today's economic and political climate. The discussion covers student financial aid, tuition, budgeting, and more, and explores the future of federal policy and what it means for the institutions that play such a critical role in the nation's educational system.

Over eight million students attend more than a thousand community colleges in the United States today, and those colleges are now facing the retirement of their founding generation of leadership. Meanwhile, the balance between traditional funding sources is shifting as new models and approaches are being implemented, and comprehensive, guiding resources are lacking. This book fills that need with expert insight reflecting current realities and a true understanding of the challenges community colleges face. Readers will:

  • Delve into factors affecting funding and the cost of attendance
  • Develop a budgeting style and process that serves the institution
  • Learn to manage fiscal crises effectively without reducing standards
  • Consider the future of federal policy and how it will affect budgeting

At a time when a difficult economy raises questions about the value of higher education, the value that community colleges offer becomes ever more clear. Community College Finance provides the guidance leaders need to help their institutions flourish.


CHRISTOPHER M. MULLIN is assistant vice chancellor for policy and research at the State University System of Florida, Board of Governors. He is the author of Higher Education Finance Research: Policy, Politics, and Practice and coeditor of Data Use in the Community College: New Directions for Institutional Research.

DAVID S. BAIME has served as the chief architect of federal policy and strategy from the community college perspective for nearly 20 years as senior vice president of government relations and policy analysis at the American Association of Community Colleges in Washington, DC.

DAVID S. HONEYMAN is professor emeritus at the School of Human Development and Organizational Studies in Education at University of Florida, Gainesville. He is the author of A Struggle to Survive: Funding Higher Education in the Next Century.


List of Figures and Tables ix

Acknowledgments xiii

Preface xv

About the Authors xxi

Sources of Revenue

1. Factors Influencing Community College Finance 3

2. The Shifting Balance of Revenue 23

3. Institutional Support 41

4. Tuition and Fees and the Cost of Attendance 59

5. Student Financial Aid 77

6. Infrastructure and Funding Issues 93

Expending Fiscal Resources

7. Institutional Expenditures 113

8. Aligning Mission and Money 131

9. Costs, Efficiency, and Productivity 149

10. College as an Investment 165

Leadership Resources

11. Funding Formulas 185

12. Setting Prices 199

13. Managing a Fiscal Crisis 217

14. Tenets of Advocacy 229

15. Future Forces in Community College Finance 243

Appendix: Principles of Taxation 255

References 269

Index 291