General Facts

  • With 1.8 million students at 116 colleges, the California Community Colleges is the largest system of higher education in the country
  • Board of Governors – Composed of 17 members appointed by the Governor sets policy and provides guidance for the 73 California community college districts and 116 colleges. (CCC Briefing Binder 2019)
  • 29 percent of University of California and 51 percent of California State University graduates started at a California community college. (CCC Briefing Binder 2019)
  • Over 69 percent of California community colleges students are people of diverse ethnic backgrounds. (SOS 2021 Draft Report)
  • The number of course sections offered by the California Community Colleges remained steady at 377,936 in 2019-2020 despite the COVID-19 emergency. A 2% change from 385,642 in 2018-19. (SOS 2021 Draft Report)
  • 47% of students do not pay fees 

Return on Investment

For Students

  • For every dollar students spend on their community college education, they gain $5 in higher earnings in the future. (EMSI EIR 2021)
  • Graduates with an associate degree from a California Community College will see an increase in earnings of $11,100 compared to those with only a high school diploma.  (EMSI EIR 2021)
  • 2019-20, the number of students earning credentials in California community colleges increased by at least 20% from the baseline year of 2016-17. (SOS 2021)
  • 2019-20, the upward trajectory continued with the number of students earning Associate Degrees for Transfer, with a yearly increase of nearly 13%. (SOS 2021 Draft Report)
  • 2019-20, the number of community college transfers to a UC, CSU, in state private/out of state colleges totaled 131,793. (SOS 2021 Draft Report.)
  • 2019-20, the course success rate for all students - 76%. (https://www.calpassplus.org/LaunchBoard/Student-Success-Metrics)
  • 2019-20, the percentage of students that completed a noncredit CTE or workforce preparation courses – 66%
  • 2019-20, Average of 69% (year-to-year) of students retained from first term of enrollment to subsequent term

For California

  • In FY 2018-19, California's Community Colleges added $128.2 billion in income to the California economy, a value approximately equal to 4.2% of the state’s total gross state product (GSP). Expressed in terms of jobs, California's Community Colleges’ impact supported 1.5 million jobs. For perspective, the activities of the colleges and their students support one out of every 16 jobs in California. (EMSI EIR 2021)
  • For every dollar of public money invested in California's Community Colleges, taxpayers will receive $2.10 in return over the course of students’ working lives. The average annual rate of return for taxpayers is 5.4%. (EMSI EIR 2021)
  • For every dollar invested in California's Community Colleges in FY 2018-19, people in California will receive $11.70 in return, for as long as California's Community Colleges’ FY 2018-19 students remain active in the state workforce. (EMSI EIR 2021)
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EMSI Economic Impact Report Key Data Points

  • Students who earn an associate degree from the colleges can expect approximate wages of $48,200 per year within California, approximately $11,100 more than someone with a high school diploma. (EMSI EIR 2021)
  • In FY 2018-19, California Community Colleges annual revenue-funding sources totaled $14 billion. Tuition and fees comprised 6% of total revenue. Revenues from local (29%), state (43%), and federal (14%) government sources comprised another 86%. All other revenue comprised the remaining 8%, which includes auxiliary revenue, sales and services, interest, and donations). (EMSI EIR 2021)
  • The social benefits of California's Community Colleges equal a present value of $265.9 billion, which include $179.0 billion in added student income, $64.4 billion in added business income, $19.2 billion in added income from colleges activities, as well as $3.3 billion in social savings related to health, crime, and income assistance in California. (EMSI EIR 2021)
  • Occupations that typically require workers to have an associate degree for entry have an average annual wage of almost $53,000, compared to an average annual wage of $36,100 for workers in high school-level occupations, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
  • Employment in associate and postsecondary non-degree-level occupations is projected to grow 11% in the 10-year period ending in 2026, faster than the 7% average projected for all occupations, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
  • Over 69 percent of California Community College students are people of diverse ethnic backgrounds. (SOS 2021 Draft Report)
  • The number of course sections offered by the California Community Colleges remained steady at 377,936 in 2019-2020 despite the COVID-19 emergency. A 2% change from 385,642 in 2018-19. (SOS 2021 Draft Report)

Student Demographics by Ethnicity (2019-20)

Ethnicity Percentage
 Hispanic 46.04%
White 23.09%
Asian 11.38%
African-American 5.59%
Unknown 6.05%
Multi-Ethnicity 3.81%
Filipino 2.80%
Pacific Islander 0.40%
Native American 0.35%

Annual Student Headcount

The system headcount is unduplicated. Students are only counted once, even if they attended multiple colleges

Year Headcount
 2019-20 2,090,635
2018-19 2,144,315
2017-18 2,159,058
2016-17 2,151,016
2015-16 2,128,851
2014-15 2,103,614

Student Demographics by Age (2016-17)

Age Percentage
≤ 20  26.8%
20-24 30.9%
25-39 26.9%
40 and over 15.4%

Number of Students Earning Credentials

Year Number of Students
 2019-20 145,039
2018-19 140,995
2017-18 129,068
2016-17 117,707
2015-16 112,661
2014-15 104,351

Funding

 
  • Total funding and state general fund contribution. See the full report for chart explanation
 
  • Funding per full-time student. See the full report for chart explanation
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    California Community Colleges revenue by source FY 2020-21

    Total Revenues $14 billion

    State government* 42%

    Federal government 7%

    All other revenue and bonds 20%

    Tuition and fees 4%

    Local government 27%

    * Revenue from state and local government includes capital appropriations. Source: Data provided by the Foundation for California Community Colletes.