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Data from NCES indicate that it is two to three times more expensive to educate a student at a public four-year college than at a community college. These figures exaggerate the difference between the two when you calculate the costs of the first two years of education for students working on a bachelor’s degree. Using modified IPEDS data from the recently released Delta Project, this study shows that the cost per FTE and the public subsidy per FTE are lower at public master’s level colleges than at the community college. Trend data from 1987-2005 are examined along with appropriate cautions for interpreting the results.


Suggested Citation
Romano, R.M. and Djajalaksana, Y.M. (2010). Using the community college to control college costs: How much cheaper is it? [Electronic version]. Retrieved [insert date], from Cornell University, School of Industrial and Labor Relations site:

Required Publisher Statement
Published by the Cornell Higher Education Research Institute, Cornell University.