What did free community college do for four-year institutions?

What did free community college do for four-year institutions?

Reported by Inside Higher Ed, two years into the Oregon Promise program, which provided Oregon students with tuition-free community college, there was a 4.2% increase in community college enrollment and a 2.9% enrollment decline at the state’s 4-year colleges.

4-year institutions have been fearful of what these state-level programs might do for their enrollment given this very compelling economic incentive for students to at least start their higher education experience at a local community college. And so far, their enrollment fears have been proven fair.

The takeaway? If a similar program comes to your state, your enrollment growth projections will need to take this new factor into account. Even more importantly, developing bridge programs with these community colleges becomes even more essential than ever.

May you continue to fight the good enrollment growth fight at your institution today, and we’ll see you again tomorrow.

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Eric Olsen

Eric brings more than a decade of award-winning creative brand development, marketing analytics and higher education experience to Helix Education. Eric is a graduate of Bradley University and earned his MBA at Lewis University.