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Community Colleges Brace For Onslaught Of CSU Students

— Community colleges are preparing for a possible spike in applications next spring. That’s when California State University campuses won’t be accepting new freshmen.

State budget cuts prompted the CSU system to close enrollment to new freshman for the spring 2010 term. Susan Bray with the Association of California Community College Administrators says it’s logical to assume that many of those students would turn to the community college system – but she points out it’s also struggling because of budget cuts.

“You know, I’ve been doing this for over 20 years now. I’ve never seen it this bad, and I just don’t know where we’re going to end up,” says Bray.

Bray says many campuses are cutting back on staff, maintenance and classes, and that has an impact on the educational experience.

“The availability of courses and options for students are going to go away,” she says.

Community colleges are expecting at least $600 million in budget cuts. Student fees are also going up. Bray says she’s even heard some people question whether it’s time to reconsider the community colleges’ mission of keeping the doors open to everyone.

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