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Help for Community College Students – Inside Higher Ed

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The federal government will have to step up to help community colleges offer comprehensive student support programs, experts say — and the Community College Student Success Act provides a way for Congress to do so.

As momentum grows around providing students with supports that foster retention and completion, a bill seeking to address one of the biggest hindrances in bringing these types of programs to community colleges has been reintroduced in the Senate, with a path forward appearing to be clearer than in years past.

The Community College Student Success Act was reintroduced last week by Democratic senators Brian Schatz of Hawaii and Sherrod Brown of Ohio to provide what many community colleges need most to develop robust student support services: funding.

The bill has been introduced in previous sessions, and the latest version doesn’t have any substantial changes. It would authorize $10 billion in grant funding over a decade for planning and executing comprehensive wraparound services — like free tutoring, textbooks and transportation — for full-time students at community colleges. Meanwhile, $5 billion would be authorized to provide the same services to part-time students.

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