LBWCC fall enrollment numbers down

Published 12:04 am Saturday, August 25, 2012

LBW Community College’s enrollment is down fall semester about 8.5 percent from the same time last year, with the total number of credit hours dropping by only 5.5 percent.

“We are almost back to where we were before the recession started,” said Dr. Herbert Riedel, LBWCC president Friday.

Enrollment typically has a reverse relationship with the economy, he said.

“College enrollments historically rise when the economy declines; and enrollments decline as the economy improves,” he said. “We are seeing this trend across the state.”

Riedel said he believes changes to the Pell Grant program, the federal student financial aid program, could play a larger roll in the numbers.

“Changes in the Pell Grant made it more difficult for people to qualify because the income limits changed.”

Approximately 70 percent of students at LBWCC get some level of Pell Grant, he said.

Additional changes in the program included reducing the total lifetime limit from 18 full-time semesters to 12, and it is now required to be a high school graduate or have a GED to qualify.

“The good news for those who need a GED to further their education is that LBWCC offers free adult education classes for GED preparation,” said Riedel.

College officials also reported a slight decrease in enrollment for the spring semester –9 percent from the same period last year.

The college offers a variety of class options from traditional, on-campus classes and independent study to online courses and even dual-enrollment classes for high school students.