Basic Funding Model Explained

Basic Funding Model Explained

Virginia’s community colleges are funded primarily from state funding from the General Assembly and tuition and fees. The state dollars provided by the General Assembly are called general funds. These dollars are used to support educational delivery for residents (in-state students) of the Commonwealth of Virginia. Tuition and fees paid directly to our colleges by all enrolled students, are also used to support our mission. Currently, state support comprises approximately 38% of the total education and general operating funding available to our colleges. The actual percentage varies by each college. In addition to the federal financial aid available to students, the state also provides financial aid resources for eligible in-state students.

Except where allowed by state law, out-of-state students are responsible for 100% of their cost of education and receive no state support for tuition or financial aid.

So think of it this way. If your college budget was $10,000, about 38% of that $10,000 would come from state funds. The other 62% would need to come from tuition and fees paid by students.

The VCCS receives its state funding in one lump sum for the entire community college system. These funds are allocated to the colleges based on the resources needed to deliver and support education for a colleges’ full-time equivalent (FTE) enrolled population. FTE enrollments are not the same as actual enrollments. In order to align enrollment to what would be equivalent for a student enrolled full-time, a calculation is used to equate the number of credit hours enrolled to those of a full-time student. So while your college may have a high “headcount” of students (including part-time enroll- ments), your full-time equivalent number of students will be lower. While most of a colleges’ state support is based on in-state student enrollment, a portion of funding is based on meeting performance-based outcomes and metrics tied to student success and com- pletion. Performance-based outcomes are a portion of the 38% of a colleges budget received from state funds. So a portion of each colleges budget is determined based on actual performance mea- sures, not simply the number of full-time equivalent enrollments.

Performance-based Metrics Explained

To support student success, the VCCS developed a funding model that would encourage & recognize improved student outcomes. The model and metrics were reviewed and developed by a multi-disciplinary task force, including college presidents, and was approved by the Advisory Council of Presidents and the State Board for Community Colleges. The approved model allows for up to 20% of a colleges general fund allocation to be based on the achievement of specific outcomes.

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