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State funding and enrollment analysis of the Colorado Community College System: prior to and after the implementation of the Colorado College Opportunity Fund (COF)


In fiscal year 2005-2006, the state of Colorado implemented the Colorado College Opportunity Fund (COF) that was initiated in Senate Bill 04 -189. The COF is a unique post-secondary education state funding mechanism that provides direct funding-to-students (stipends). This new funding approach was implemented to give community colleges more flexibility with state funding under TABOR (1992), to enhance more educational opportunities for low-income and other under-represented students, and to increase the operational efficiency in postsecondary education. The purpose of this study was to explore the question: "Did the Colorado Opportunity Fund (COF) achieve the desired outcomes of policy makers for community colleges in the state of Colorado?" The study analyzed the Colorado Community College System's enrollment data and compared enrollment trends before and after the COF was implemented to determine if there were any significant changes in enrollment trends and to evaluate the efficacy of the COF's underlying policy, accessibility with affordability. The study used Cross-Tabulation (crosstabs) and Chi-Square analyses to determine whether or not the COF had a significant impact on enrollment trends at community colleges. The enrollment data from fiscal years 1998 to 2010 was randomly selected from 13 community colleges. The changes in community college enrollment trends since the inception of the COF were: (a) no change in overall male and female trends); (b) increased enrollment of traditional age students, especially within the age group 19-24; (c) increased enrollment of underrepresented student groups, specifically Black and Hispanic males; (d) increased male enrollment representing an underrepresented student group within community colleges; and (e) increased enrollment trends of new and first time students.


2011 Spring.
Includes bibliographical references.

Rights Access


Colorado College Opportunity Fund
state funding
higher education
community college


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