Community collge enrollment up in West Virginia

CHARLESTON, W.Va. – A report from the West Virginia Higher Education Policy Commission and Community and Technical College System says fall 2019 enrollment for public two- and four-year post-secondary education institutions.

First-time freshmen in the state’s nine community and technical colleges increased 9.9 percent from fall 2018 to fall 2019, more than 3,000 freshmen entered those campuses this fall. First-time freshmen at baccalaureate dropped 1.9 percent from 2018 making it the fourth straight year for a decrease.

Dr. Sarah Armstrong Tucker is the Chancellor of the Community and Technical College System of West Virginia and says incentives have done accomplished their mission.

“Within the community colleges it looks like West Virginia Invests has had the desired effect of getting people into college that would not otherwise go,” Armstrong-Tucker said,”The credit headcount enrollment increased by about 10 percent and that’s terrific.”

The report shows a decrease in baccalaureate enrollment by about two percent but the rate of high school students in dual credit programs has increased significantly.

“There is a very strong value to higher education,”Armstrong-Tucker said,”That hasn’t been the narrative lately and we need to turn that narrative back to where it was before so folks understand higher edication is important.”

Armstrong-Tucker says more jobs in the future will require a certificate or higher-level degrees and that makes completing the FASFA form very important(Free Application for Federal Student Aid). The deadline to complete the form is April 15, 2020, but she says it’s important to fill it out as soon as possible.

“It’s best to fill it out now, because the earlier you fill it out the sooner you know what you’ll qualify for,”Armstrong-Tucker said,”Perhaps you don’t think you’ll qualify for anything, but you find through a series of grants you can get $10,000-that could change your decision on where to go to college.”