Student Centered Funding Formula

California Community Colleges (CCC) serve a diverse student body of 2.1 million students – the vast majority of whom enter community college with the goal of transferring to a four-year institution. For too many years, a broken funding model failed our students by providing funding to colleges based only on how many students they enroll without ensuring these same institutions had additional resources for serving low-income students and equally prioritizing student success, improving outcomes, and closing equity gaps. 

In 2018, The Campaign for College Opportunity championed efforts alongside educational equity and civil rights partners to fundamentally shift the funding model for California Community Colleges. By shifting from a model that focused exclusively on access or enrollment to a formula that provides funding for equity and student success, including increased funding for districts serving low-income students, funding can align to support system-wide initiatives, including the community colleges’ Vision for Success – an ambitious systemwide plan to improve outcomes and close achievement gaps to meet California’s economic, social, and civic needs.

The Campaign’s advocacy resulted in the adoption of a new formula for the apportionment of funds to the California Community Colleges in the 2018-19 state budget, known as the Student-Centered Funding Formula (SCFF). For the first time in California’s history, metrics for the number of low-income students served by a college and incentives to recognize colleges for student success were established, with premiums for that of low-income students. The SCFF marks a pivotal shift in the way community colleges are funded: with equity baked into every allocation within the formula, funding is targeted to support low-income students, and place a dual focus not only on enrollment, but ensuring that students are supported to succeed.

The SCFF supports state and district needs, priorities, and goals by aligning state funding with:

The Legislature also established the Community College Student Success Funding Formula Oversight Committee to evaluate and review the implementation of the SCFF, of which The Campaign was a member. As we continue to monitor and support the implementation of this historic policy, we are committed to ensuring that stable and predictable community college funding is determined not only by the number of students that are served, but also on how colleges support those students to meet key success benchmarks.