Central Texas community colleges see increase in fall enrollment

Published: Sep. 2, 2022 at 6:37 PM CDT
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TEMPLE, Texas (KWTX) - President Biden’s loan forgiveness plan forgives $10,000 in federal student loans. But for some students that’s not enough and now they’re looking at more affordable options.

McLennan Community College, Central Texas College and Temple College are cheaper options all around $1,200 to $1,400 per semester for full-time students, or those enrolled in 12 credit hours. That’s compared to around $6,000 per semester for a four-year university, according to CBS.

More and more students are turning to these cheaper options. Temple College is seeing a 10% increase in full-time fall enrollment compared to last year’s fall semester. Meanwhile Central Texas College is seeing an 8% increase in the same time period.

At Temple College nursing student Brian Omosa didn’t take out any student loans for his first two years, paying completely out of pocket.

“The prerequisites the ones I took were in the range of $200 to $500 so for me [Temple College] was affordable,” Omosa said.

Temple College President Christina Ponce explained that grants, new degree programs and college fairs all helped get the numbers up. She said stories like Omosa’s aren’t uncommon for Temple College students.

“Very few of our students have to take out a loan because there’s so much wrap-around support services and scholarships available for them,” she said.

The increase this fall semester comes as many colleges, including Temple College, saw a decrease in enrollment the past few semesters due to the pandemic.

“Like most schools we saw a little bit of a dip, but we stayed flat throughout the pandemic,” Dr. Ponce said. “This fall semester I was happy to see that students are coming back, they’re enrolling full time.”

But it’s about more than just the reduced costs, it’s Temple College’s environment that keeps students like Omosa coming back.

“The community around Temple College,” Omosa said. “Everybody around here is friendly and willing to help you succeed.”