A Longitudinal Study of Revenue Sources of Texas Community Colleges Prior to and After Adoption of the Closing the Gaps Plan

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (Ed.D)


Higher Edu and Learning Technology

Date of Award

Summer 2013


In 2000, the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board (THECB) adopted Closing the Gaps by 2015: The Texas Higher Education Plan. This new master plan set goals for Texas higher education in participation, success, research, and excellence. The plan acknowledged a shortfall related to projected demographic shifts in both the number of degrees and certificates awarded and the overall number of enrollments in Texas' higher education institutions. The plan estimated that 60% of the additionally called for 500,000 new enrollments in the Texas higher education system would need to begin at one of the 50 Texas community colleges, and the number of students completing a degree at a Texas community college would need to increase from 23,000 to 34,600 by the year 2015. The purpose of this nonexperimental, longitudinal, archival study was to examine the three primary revenue sources for Texas community colleges, for the 10 years prior to (1990 & 1995) and the 10 years following (2005 & 2010) the adoption of Closing the Gaps by 2015. This study used the IPEDS Analytics: Delta Cost Project database as the source of the data. Additionally, SPSS was used to provide descriptive statistics for each revenue source across the four snapshot years included in the study. A MANOVA was run and significant differences were found in the revenue streams for the years 1990, 1995, 2005, and 2010. A post hoc Tukey test calculated pairwise year-to-year comparisons for each dependent variable group (tuition and fees, state revenue, and local revenue). The study found tuition and fees, by percentage of total revenue, increased over the 20 study years, while state appropriations decreased. The descriptive statistics allowed the researcher to recognize visually a trend of slight increase in local revenue existed, but the only statistically significant finding was between snapshots 15 years apart, 1995 compared to 2010. This study provides trend analysis of the revenue streams of Texas community colleges and provides community college leaders with a foundation upon which to base fiscal decisions in the future. Recommendations are made as to further research that will also extend this baseline research.


L. Rusty Waller

Subject Categories

Education | Educational Technology