Sunday, February 8, 2009

As recession deepens, Community College enrollment rises

As more and more people lose their jobs, the need to retool themselves ramps up the enrollment at many community colleges have increased by almost 20% year-over-year. Additionally, the higher cost of 4 year-colleges and universities are making community colleges a much more palatable option.

Here's an AP article about this trend towards higher community college enrollments.

Recession sending more students to comm. colleges

Students at New Hampshire Technical Institute  walk top class  in Concord, N.H., AP – Students at New Hampshire Technical Institute walk top class in Concord, N.H., Thursday, Jan. 29, 2009. …

CONCORD, N.H. – College freshman Elizabeth Hebert's choice of a four-year school suddenly got too expensive. George Haseltine already has a business degree, but he concluded after several layoffs that he needed more training to get work.

So, in the middle of this school year, both landed at New Hampshire Technical Institute, which like other community colleges across the country has suddenly grown a lot more crowded.

The two-year schools are reporting unprecedented enrollment increases this semester, driven by students from traditional colleges seeking more bang for their buck and by laid-off older workers.

But community colleges aren't exactly cheering in this down economy: Tuition doesn't come close to covering costs, and the state funds used to make up the difference are drying up.

Final figures aren't in for this semester, but a national group representing community colleges says the average increase from spring-to-spring is dramatic, and similar to what New Hampshire is reporting at its seven schools — a range of 4 percent to 19 percent.

Read the rest of the story here

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