Socioeconomic variables and the financing of community colleges in New York State

Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Social Sciences


Joan N. Burstyn


Socioeconomic, Financing, Community colleges, New York

Subject Categories

Community College Leadership | Education


This is a study of the relationships of selected socioeconomic variables and the operating revenues of community colleges in New York State. The purpose of the study is to find out which variables have a strong influence on the amount of revenue received by the colleges from their major sources. As public institutions, the community colleges in New York State receive two-thirds of their revenue from the state and their local sponsors. The other third is derived from tuition. During the last ten years, these colleges have experienced a pattern of growth characterized by both upswings and downturns.

This study relates these changes to the socioeconomic characteristics of the locality, generally a county, where each of these colleges is located. The importance of the study lies in its exploration of the factors influencing funding allocation to community colleges from the state and the county, as well as the amount of tuition generated from the students. The analysis of the strength of the relationship between a given socioeconomic variable and the amount of revenue received by these colleges is an important contribution to the understanding of the ways that community colleges are financed.

The States and community colleges nationally have recognized that the resources available for public higher education are increasingly limited. The State Legislature of New York and the Board of Trustees of State University of New York, like other state systems, are concerned with formulating a new way to finance community colleges. This study investigates a set of variables that help explain the indirect determinants of support received, in the past and currently, by the New York State community colleges.


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