Community colleges are centers of educational opportunity. They are an American invention that put publicly funded higher education at close-to-home facilities, beginning nearly 100 years ago with Joliet Junior College. Since then, community colleges have been inclusive institutions that welcome all who desire to learn, regardless of wealth, heritage, or previous academic experience. The process of making higher education available to the maximum number of people continues to evolve at 1,167 public and independent community colleges—1,600 when branch campuses are included. This section is your resource for community college statistics, historical information, and facts.
The State of Community College Leadership: 2023
The Economic Value of America’s Community Colleges Report
- Download The Economic Value of America’s Community College (Executive Summary) [PDF]
- Download The Economic Value of America’s Community Colleges (Main Report) [PDF]
This report assesses the impact of the increased alumni productivity of America’s community colleges1 on the national economy and the benefits generated by the colleges for students, taxpayers, and society. The results of this study show that America’s community colleges create a positive net impact on the U.S. economy and generate a positive return on investment for their main stakeholders.
1 For the purposes of this analysis, America’s community colleges are represented by the 1,071 degree-granting community colleges that reported their FY 2019-20 data to IPEDS.
Download the report. [PDF]
Community college enrollment has been in decline nationally since peaking in 2010. This report will put the recent community college trends into perspective by reviewing community college enrollment from 2001 through 2017, and by examining concurrent trends that are related to community college enrollments. This report will provide the reader with a better understanding of enrollment changes for students with different characteristics (such as age, gender, or race and ethnicity) as well as by enrollment intensity. In addition, community college enrollment trends will be compared to other sectors of higher education. Furthermore, this report will examine enrollment trends in the context of other national, nonhigher education trends such as unemployment rates and high school graduation rates to better understand the trends we are seeing in community college enrollment.
The Voluntary Framework of Accountability (VFA) is the principal institutional accountability and improvement framework for community colleges with measures defined to encompass the full breadth of the community college mission and the diversity of students’ goals and educational experiences. The American Association of Community Colleges (AACC) operates a web-based portal for community colleges to submit, analyze, and display their VFA data. In 2018, more than 200 colleges participated in the VFA. This document is intended to provide a sample of results from the 2018 collection cycle.
- Download the report [PDF].
AACC CEO Survey: Compensation 2015 (PDF)
In 2015, the American Association of Community Colleges (AACC) conducted a survey of community college chief executive officers (CEOs) to collect their opinions on current issues, and gather information on their compensation. This report provides the results from this survey.