ACCT Announces Project to Catalog State Funding Models for Community Colleges

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Partnering with AACC and SHEEO, the systems funding project will compare funding models by student degree type.

Washington, DC – May 30, 2024 The Association of Community College Trustees (ACCT) is pleased to announce a new project that explores how states fund community colleges based on the enrollment for their students, including those pursuing credit-bearing degrees and certificates, those participating in non-credit workforce programs, and those enrolled via dual-enrollment programs. States have variance across their funding approaches for these three community college priorities.

Funded by a grant from Lumina Foundation, and in partnership with the American Association of Community Colleges (AACC) and State Higher Education Executive Officers (SHEEO), the resulting systems funding map will serve as a tool for college leaders and policymakers to compare how funding models vary across states.

“Participation in dual-enrollment programs and workforce development has fueled the recent turnaround in community college enrollments,” points out ACCT president and CEO Jee Hang Lee. He continues, “Yet, each state has a unique model for funding higher education that varies across degree-seeking, non-degree seeking, and dual-enrollment statuses. As community colleges are increasingly called on to concentrate all three pathways, the funding systems that support them need to reflect these priorities.”

“There is no national data set that reflects the true scope of community college enrollments and curriculum,” said Walter G. Bumphus, president and CEO of AACC. “This work will provide a comprehensive analysis that will inform future campus programs and services, and influence local, state, and federal funding structures to benefit the 10 million students served each year at the nation’s community colleges.”

“States regularly review their funding models to help ensure alignment with state higher education goals,” said Robert Anderson, president of SHEEO. “This project will provide valuable landscape information for states undergoing funding model reviews and a better understanding of opportunities to modernize funding structures.”

”Lumina is committed to expanding access to and completion of high-quality degrees and postsecondary credentials, and we know adequate state financing is a critical part of achieving our goals,” said Kermit Kaleba, strategy director for employment aligned credential programs at Lumina. “We’re excited to partner with ACCT, AACC, SHEEO, and SSTAR to expand our understanding of current community college funding models and better understand what’s working to increase opportunities for learners.” Research will be conducted in partnership with the Student Success Through Applied Research (SSTAR) Lab at the University of Wisconsin to showcase how each of the 50 states, plus Washington, D.C. and select territories, are funded for each of the three program types.

Expected outcomes of this project include:

1. Better informed community college leaders who can advocate for why shifts in funding models would better support their institutions and the variety of purposes they are increasingly called to serve;

2. Better informed state policy makers who can gauge what is happening across the nation as they review their state model and consider changes; and

3. Better informed federal policy makers who can decide how the federal role fits into funding community colleges.

The resulting interactive dashboard of systems funding approaches is set for release in late summer 2024. For more information about this initiative, contact ACCT Center for Policy and Practice Associate Vice President Steve Jurch at

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About ACCT

The Association of Community College Trustees (ACCT) is a non-profit educational organization of governing boards, representing more than 6,500 elected and appointed trustees who govern over 1,200 community, technical, and junior colleges in the United States and beyond. For more information, go to Follow ACCT on Twitter @CCTrustees.