Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Bad Economy, Community College Enrollments Surge

By Shu Zheng

As the economic downturn hits hard, community colleges enrollments go record high. People who lost jobs are now seeking to add skills or training, and some students who might have gone away for college look to save money by living home while attending classes. The current tough time are fueling eagerness among unemployed workers to upgrade their skills, but in the meantime, the recession is forcing the traditional four-year colleges and universities to raise their tuition. Thus, the inexpensive community colleges have to struggle to absorb the load even when their own budgets have been hacked.

In New York, a report shows that there’s been a 70% surge in the number of public high school graduates entering the City Community College system over the past seven years. Mayor Bloomberg also pointed to a 37% growth in CUNY four-year colleges.

Demand for the classes at community colleges is at record high, but on the other hand, there isn’t sufficient funding for the community colleges to meet the demand. It ends up that many community colleges have to turn away a great number of students. So although the overall enrollment has been surged over the recent past years, there are still a lot of people that have been shut out of the colleges.

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