Co-Lin to see growth

Published 12:00 am Saturday, July 31, 2010

NATCHEZ — Despite a tuition increase, Copiah-Lincoln Community College’s fall enrollment is up 4 percent.

Co-Lin president Ronnie Nettles said he thinks the increase is related to the recession.

The 4-percent increase compares the current pre-registration enrollment with pre-registratoin enrollment last year and includes all campuses.

Nettles said increased enrollment at Co-Lin follows a recent state and national trend in community colleges.

“People who have lost jobs are training for a new career,” Nettles said.

He said tough economic times may also influence families to send their children to a local community college rather than ship them out of town to four-year universities.

Attending Co-Lin lets local students skip the higher-priced tuitions of most universities and can cut down on living costs, Nettles said.

“Students can stay at home instead of moving into a dorm.”

Tuition increased this year from $900 to $1,050 a semester for full-time students, which includes technology fees.

However, Nettles said the amount of federal financial aid available for those that apply went up this year.

Students who qualify for full assistance can receive up to $5,000 in financial aid for two semesters.

In addition to tuition and technology fees, Nettles said textbooks can cost students up to $500.

Thursday’s final exams marked the end of the summer session.

Summer enrollment was up 15 to 20 percent for the summer session across all campuses, Nettles said.

He said summer enrollment probably increased for the same reasons related to recession. In addition, students were able to qualify for financial aid for the summer, which is a recent change.

The Natchez campus is looking forward to the February opening of a new health science building, Nettles said.

The new building will house space for the respiratory care and practical nursing programs, as well as science and computer labs.

“Other than that we’re gearing up for a normal school year,” Nettles said.

Fall classes officially begin Aug. 16. Pre-registration is open, and regular registration runs until Aug. 20.