Enrollment down five years in a row

Enrollment at MCCC continued to drop this semester, reaching levels not seen for 30 years.

In 2014, the headcount at the beginning of fall semester was 3,482 students, with 29,571 credit hours. In 2015, it is down to 3,192 students, an 8.3 percent drop. Credit hours are down to 27,011, an 8.7 percent decrease.

Ten years ago, the headcount was 4,193, and the credit hours taken were 37,136. Enrollment peaked in 2010 at nearly 4,800 students.

Randy Daniels, vice president of Student Information Services, said the college created a task force last year to study the enrollment decline and develop a Strategic Enrollment Plan.

While the plan is not finalized, college employees began using some of the recommendations to get students to enroll this semester, Daniels said.

“I can only imagine what our enrollment might be if we had not worked so hard to get students registered,” he said.

MCCC is not the only community college that has dropped in enrollment. According to the Michigan Association of Collegiate Registrars and Admissions Officers, colleges like Oakland Community College, St. Clair Community College, Kirtland Community College and Kellogg Community College all have double-digit drops in enrollment this fall.

The only community college in Michigan that increased enrollment was Schoolcraft Community College, up by 4.37 percent. Jackson Community College had no change.

While there is no way to know for sure why enrollment has declined, Daniels said its most likely there are a multitude of factors.

“My list includes the economy, population shifts, high school enrollment changes, and changes in federal financial aid,” he said.

Daniels also said he will be meeting with administrators from Schoolcraft and other community colleges in October and will be discussing enrollment factors with them.