Enrollment up at college

November 27, 2001

Enrollment up at college


Enrollment at Hagerstown Community College increased by 6.5 percent over last year, a jump that can be attributed to a lower out-of-state tuition and an influx of part-time students, college officials said.

Dean of Students Carl J. Galligan said 163 more students enrolled this fall than last fall, putting enrollment at 2,679.

The school usually sees increases of about 2 percent or 2.5 percent a year, he said.

"We've grown pretty well," Galligan said. "We're feeling good."

Galligan said the number of out-of-state students attending HCC increased by 16 percent this year, up 79 students. Last year, 498 students came from out of state.

College officials say the increase in out-of-state students is a result of HCC's push in 2000 to lower out-of-state tuition.

HCC President Norman Shea has said a higher out-of-state tuition helped decrease enrollment at the college, causing HCC to drop a few courses that didn't enroll enough students.


The Maryland General Assembly, convinced by the college of the benefits of a reduction in out-of-state tuition, passed a law supporting the lower rates.

"We were able to keep the out-of-state tuition low when it was supposed to go up," Galligan said.

In the fall of 2000, out-of-state tuition was scheduled to increase to $196 per credit from $169. The law dropped the rates for that year to $143.

This year, out-of-state students pay $156 per credit.

Most of HCC's out-of-state students come from Franklin County, Pa., and Berkeley and Jefferson counties in West Virginia.

HCC officials said lower out-of-state rates make the college more competitive with Tri-State-area schools such as Hagerstown Business College, Shepherd College in Sheperdstown, W.Va., and Penn State's Mont Alto, Pa., campus.

Galligan said another reason HCC's enrollment has gone up is because more part-time students are attending the school this year.

Part-time enrollment increased by 9.5 percent, or 147 students. Galligan said 1,687 part-time students enrolled this year.

He credits the part-time enrollment increase to an increased interest in computer courses and a tight economy.

The popularity of computer-related jobs are attractive to those looking for work during an economic downturn, he said. The college offers courses that can help people get started in the field without necessarily completing a two-year degree.

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