In many states, there is wide variation in funding levels among community colleges. Several factors account for these differences, including state funding allocation formulas, unequal local funding from property tax revenues, and political forces. To ensure equal opportunity among students from different racial and ethnic groups, community colleges need equitable funding. If community colleges enrolling large shares of students from historically underserved groups receive less funding than other institutions, inequities could hinder these students’ paths toward economic mobility.

Using data from the 2018–19 academic year to estimate per student funding, this study from the Urban Institute investigates whether community colleges that enroll large shares of Black and Hispanic students, as well as students from low-income backgrounds, have the same level of resources as those that enroll more white and higher-income students.

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