Populations Served in Community Colleges
One factor making community colleges prime territory for charitable support is the fact that their student bodies include large fractions of low-income and minority students, students who were ill-served by public schools and need remedial help, students from troubled family backgrounds, or families with no prior tradition of higher education. A study by Pew Research Center shows that one in four community-college students comes from a family that is in poverty. Additionally two thirds of community-college students work 35 hours or more per week while they are going to school, according to the American Association of Community Colleges
Moreover, community colleges hold strong potential for engaging the estimated seven million able- bodied, prime-age males absent from the workforce. Community college programs demonstrating the strongest potential for reaching non-working men are those that emphasize tightly condensed training schedules, stackable credentials, and clear pathways to actual jobs that exist in the economy. According to the book Men Without Work: America's Invisible Crisis, authored by the American Enterprise Institute’s Nicholas Eberstadt, men tend to fall into certain sub- populations: they are more likely to be minorities (particularly African Americans), under-educated (a high school degree or less), and have a low socioeconomic status (a household median income of $25,000 or less).