Skip to content Skip to content



Gov. Jerry Brown recently revised his projections for the state's budget deficit. This PDF presentation outlines the impacts to the system. (pdf)

Watch the May 15, 2012 budget webinar with panelists Chancellor Jack Scott and Vice Chancellor of College Finance Dan Troy: (video)


Presentation on the cumulative impacts of recent California Community Colleges budget cuts. (pdf/ppt)

California Community Colleges Key Facts

(Updated February 2, 2016)

Printable versions fo these Key Facts: (PDF) (DOC)

Gov. Jerry Brown’s Proposed 2016-17 Budget for the
California Community Colleges:

  • Total funding proposed for the California Community Colleges in 2016-17 is $8.3 billion, which is an increase of nearly 8 percent compared to the 2015-16 fiscal year.
  • $114.7 million for increased access of 2 percent – This funding would increase access statewide for approximately 50,000 students (headcount).
  • $200 million for workforce – These funds will be added to improve and expand efforts for training the workforce, consistent with the recommendations made by the Task Force on Workforce, Job Creation and Strong Economy.
  • $29.3 million for a Cost of Living Adjustment (COLA) – This would fund the statutory cost-of-living- adjustment of 0.47 percent.
  • $48 million for CTE Pathways (SB 1070) – This program is funded on an ongoing basis. The Governor’s intent is to repeal the sunset date for this program to make it permanent.
  • $30 million increase to the existing basic skills categorical program – This is to incentivize and support colleges that successfully implement research-based practices that transition students from basic skills to college-level programs.
  • $289 million for maintenance and instructional equipment – Similar to the funding provided in 2015-16, districts will have the flexibility to distribute funds among maintenance, instructional equipment, and drought response activities. $255 million is on-going while approximately $34.5 million is one-time.
  • $3 million to the TTIP program for data security
  • $10 million added to the Institutional Effectiveness program – This is to augment support of technical assistance to the colleges.
  • $45 million for Proposition 39 – Provided for energy efficiency projects and workforce development.
  • $1.8 million for apprenticeship – This is to provide parity to apprenticeship rates relating to various general purpose funding augmentations received by colleges in 2015-16 (e.g., the general operating expense funds, funds for full-time faculty hiring).
  • $39 million for Cal Grant – This is continued for the Full-Time Student Success Grant, which provides supplemental financial assistance to Cal Grant B recipients taking 12 units or more.
  • $25 million for Innovation Awards – One-time funding proposed for grants related to innovative practices in community colleges.
  • $5 million for zero textbook cost grants – Provided to incentivize programs that have no costs to students for the use of textbooks. This is a one-time program funded with on-going funds.
  • Fees – No fee increases are proposed at this time for the 2016-17 academic year.
  • $111 million for Mandate Claim Reimbursement and for Physical Plant and Instructional Equipment – This is one-time funding.

Gov. Jerry Brown’s Enacted 2015-16 State Budget for
California Community Colleges:

  • Total funding for the California Community Colleges in 2015-16 is $7.7 billion, which is an increase of 12 percent compared to the 2014-15 fiscal year.
  • $156.4 million for increased access of 3 percent – This funding would increase access statewide for approximately 62,500 students (headcount).
  • $471.7 million for student success – These funds will be used for the Student Success and Support Program (SSSP) and Student Equity Plans, plus technical assistance, regional and online workshops, and e-transcripts, e-planning, and common assessment tools
  • $48 million for Career Technical Education – These one-time funds are proposed for support of the SB1070 Career Technical Education Pathways Program.
  • $31.4 million for Apprenticeship – $16.4 million of these funds would restore the rates and seats of current programs back to the 2007-08 levels and an additional $15 million is proposed for innovative apprenticeship projects that focus on new and emerging industries with unmet labor market demand.
  • $38.7 million for Proposition 39 – These funds support projects and workforce development related to energy sustainability, consistent with the provisions of Proposition 39.
  • $266.7 million to increase base allocation funding – This increase is intended to ease the constrained discretionary funding environment colleges have experienced since the economic downturn. These funds can help colleges address the scheduled increases in STRS and PERS contribution rates, for example.
  • $61 million for Cost of Living Adjustment (COLA) – This would fund the statutory cost-of-living- adjustment of 1.02 percent.
  •  $62 million to increase hiring of full-time faculty
  • $500 million to fund the Adult Education Block Grant – These funds would go to regional K-12/California Community Colleges consortia to be used for adult education courses in elementary and secondary basic skills, citizenship, English as second language (ESL), programs for adults with disabilities, short-term career technical education programs and programs for apprentices. Each consortium will be required to annually report its progress toward fulfilling adult education plans.
  • The governor did not increase California Community Colleges student fees for the 2015-16 academic year.

2014-15 State Budget Funding for California Community Colleges:

  • $140.4 million to fund a 2.75 percent restoration of access – This would allow colleges to add more than 60,000 students.
  • $47.3 million Cost of Living Adjustment (COLA) – This would fund a COLA of 0.85 percent.
  • $170 million to support student success programs – Intended to strengthen support for underrepresented students.
  • $30 million for Disabled Students Programs and Services (DSPS)
  • $148 million for deferred maintenance and instructional equipment – This funding is available on a one-time basis.
  • $37.5 million in Proposition 39 funds – For energy efficiency and workforce development projects.
  • $2.5 million for local technical assistance – This is to support implementation of effective student success practices in all districts, with priority placed on underperforming districts.
  • $1.1 million and nine new Chancellor’s Office positions - To develop student success indicators and monitor college/district performance.
  • $49.5 million for earlier mandate reimbursement claims
  • $497.8 million (over multiple years) to reduce outstanding system deferrals to $94.6M – This funding is allocated using combination of prior year, current year, and budget year funds.
  • $50 million in one-time funding (non-Proposition 98) to offer incentive awards – To recognize models of innovation in higher education that 1) increase the number of students earning bachelor’s degrees, 2) increase the number of bachelor’s degrees earned within four years, and 3) ease transfer in the state’s higher education system.
  • A positive trigger allowing the Director of Finance to increase Proposition 98 funding if, in his determination, the Proposition 98 guarantee is higher than estimated at the time of the Budget Act. The first call on additional expenditures will be to pay down the remaining deferrals.
  • The governor did not increase California Community Colleges student fees for the 2014-15 academic year.

Impact of Budget Cuts on the California Community Colleges System
During the Recession:

  • Funding for the California Community Colleges was cut $1.5 billion between the 2007-08 and
  • 2011-12 academic years (PPIC report).
  • Course offerings statewide were cut by roughly 25 percent due to the five consecutive years of deep budget cuts.
  • The cuts forced community colleges to ration course offerings and as a direct result, nearly 500,000 students were shut out of the system.

Value to California:

  • California community colleges educate 70 percent of our state’s nurses.
  • California community colleges train 80 percent of firefighters, law enforcement personnel, and emergency medical technicians.
  • Twenty-nine percent of University of California and 51 percent of California State University graduates started at a California community college.
  • Transfer students from the California Community Colleges to the University of California system currently account for 48 percent of UC’s bachelor’s degrees in science, technology, engineering and mathematics.
  •  Community colleges offer associate degrees and short-term job training certificates in more than
  • 175 fields, and more than 100,000 individuals are trained each year in industry-specific workforce skills.
  • Nearly 42 percent of all California veterans receiving GI educational benefits attend a California community college for workforce training, to earn an associate degree or to work toward transferring to a four-year university.

High Return on College Education:

  • The California Community Colleges is the largest provider of workforce training in the state and nation.
  • For every $1 California invests in students who graduate from college, it will receive a net return on investment of $4.50.
  • Californians with a college degree will earn $400,000 more in their lifetime than their peers with only a high school diploma.
  • Students who earn a degree or certificate from a California community college nearly double their earnings within three years.
  • Attending or graduating from a community college doubles an individual’s chance of finding a job compared to those who failed to complete high school.
  • The California Community Colleges is the state’s most cost-effective system of education – the revenue needed to support one full-time community college student is slightly more than $5,000 per year.
  • The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics projects that occupations that require an associate degree will grow by 18 percent through 2020 – faster than the new job growth for those with a bachelor’s degree.

Priorities and Efficiencies:

  • The Student Success Initiative of 2012 helps to improve educational outcomes, improve the workforce preparedness of the state and close the achievement gap for historically underrepresented students. It decreases the amount of time it will take students to earn a degree, certificate and/or transfer to a four-year university, which saves students and taxpayers money through reforms and efficiencies.
  • In 2012, the California Community Colleges and California State University launched the Associate Degree for Transfer program that simplifies the student transfer process between the two systems. The initiative generates approximately $160 million annually in cost savings and those savings provide access to 40,000 additional community college students and nearly 14,000 California State University students each year. The initiative is showing rapid and marked success as it continues to grow. The number of degrees awarded through the program in 2014-15 is nearly double the number of degrees awarded the year before. In the 2014-15 academic year 20,644 students earned Associate Degrees for Transfer compared to 11,448 degrees awarded in 2013-14.

Workforce Skills Gap:

  • Undergraduate demand for the three public systems of higher education in California is expected to grow by 387,000 students by 2019.
  • The Public Policy Institute of California estimates by 2025 California will face a shortage of 1 million college degree and certificate holders needed to fuel its workforce.
  • With baby boomers retiring as the best educated and most skilled workforce in U.S. history, labor experts are concerned that California will lack workers with the critical aptitude needed to replace them.

Distance Education Fact Sheet:

  • California community colleges lead the way in distance education:
  • Of all courses offered at California’s community colleges, 12.3 percent are offered through distance education, and it is estimated that nearly half of all courses have some online component.
  • California community colleges first started offering distance education courses in 1979.
  • Of the 2.4 million students enrolled in 2011-2012 academic year, 621,501 took at least one distance education course.
  • The average course load of all California community college students in 2011-12 was 12 units. The average course load of students who enrolled in distance education courses was 15 units.
  • Distance education almost doubled from 21,414 sessions in 2005-06 to 41,354 in 2011-12.
  • Two age categories – 18- to 19-year-olds and 20- to -24- year olds – account for 61 percent of those enrolled in distance education courses in 2011-12.
  • Thirty-seven percent of students surveyed in 2011 said they enrolled in at least one distance education course because of the convenience.
  • Fifty-one percent of California’s community colleges offer certificates and degrees that can be earned without stepping onto campus for classes. This typically includes a combination of both online and television courses.
  • The Internet provides California community college students with 94 percent of the distance education offerings. Television is next with 8 percent, followed by correspondence (2 percent) and video conferencing (1 percent).

General Facts:

  • With more than 2.1 million students on 113 campuses, the California Community Colleges is the largest system of higher education in the United States.
  • One in every five community college students in the nation attends a California community college.
  • Most of the 113 colleges are on the semester system, but Foothill, DeAnza and Lake Tahoe community colleges are on the quarter system.
  • Three out of every 10 Californians ages 18-24 are currently enrolled in a community college.
  • Sixty-seven percent of community college students are people of diverse ethnic backgrounds and roughly 53 percent are female.

Student Demographics by Ethnicity for 2014-15



Native American








Pacific Islander









Student Demographics by Age for 2014-15









 35 and over
 Unknown  0.02%

Student Demographics by Gender for 2014-15







California Community Colleges Fee History:

Fiscal Year

Fee (per unit)























Summer 2012


*Prior to 1984, community colleges charged no fee