Numbers hold steady for Co-Lin

Published 12:00 am Sunday, August 14, 2005

NATCHEZ &045; Enrollment is holding steady at Co-Lin this year despite a $50 a semester tuition increase.

In Natchez, 802 students are currently enrolled, but registration continues until Aug. 22.

Classes start on Monday.

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At the same time last year, enrollment was 803.

&uot;Enrollment is looking really good,&uot; Acting Dean Gwen McCalip said. &uot;We were hoping for an increase, we are always hoping for an increase.&uot;

Enrollment hit an all-time high in the fall of 2004 with just over 900 students, many of which were recently laid off workers from International Paper who were starting over.

McCalip and President Howell Garner said they didn’t expect the tuition increase to prevent students from attending.

&uot;I don’t think tuition has that great of an impact on students going to a community college, because tuition at four-year colleges has increased and community colleges have increased,&uot; Garner said.

Because nearly 60 percent of Co-Lin’s students are eligible for financial aid, Garner said tuition was often not a factor.

District-wide, early numbers may show a small increase in enrollment, Garner said, but numbers will change in the coming week.

The college has opened a new branch in Simpson County for classes. So far, about 170 students have registered at that campus.

Fourteen full-time employees have come to work at the new campus already and classrooms are ready for students.

Other changes at the college include a stricter attendance policy and several new faculty members in Natchez.