Community Colleges Report Serving More Middle-Class Students


As college costs continue to increase, community colleges are seeing a rise in the number of upper-middle class students enrolling to save money on their way to a four-year degree.

“This is about social norms,” Sara Goldrick-Rab, a professor of higher education policy and sociology at Temple University (PA), told The New York Times. “More middle-class parents are saying, I’m not succumbing to the idea that the only acceptable education is an expensive one.”

Take, for example, Pasadena City College. According to the Times, the school has seen a 320 percent increase in students who come families whose annual income exceeds $100,000.

This trend is expected to continue, especially as more cities and states adopt free community college programs like the one in California.

Though there are obvious benefits to starting at a community college, students should make sure they have a clear plan of attack if they want to transfer to a four-year institution. Students will want to make sure all course credits will transfer with them.

Read the full article here and see more resources for transfer students in NACAC’s Knowledge Center.

Ashley Dobson is NACAC’s communications manager for content and social media. You can reach her at

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