MONTGOMERY, Ala. (WIAT) — The Alabama Community College System has seen two consecutive years of enrollment growth, and officials don’t expect that to stop.
This year’s summer enrollment is up about 10 to 11% from last year, and the ACCS expects more than 80,000 students this fall across its 24 colleges and 130 campuses.
Every year since 2020, student enrollment in Alabama community colleges has grown at least 5%, according to the ACCS.
“That affordability, that convenience is a huge factor,” Alabama Community College System Vice Chancellor for Student Success Neil Scott said.
Scott said he expects that trend will only continue, especially now with the Supreme Court overruling President Joe Biden’s student debt relief plan.
“As the conversation about college affordability continues and it even heightens, we feel the students are going to see a lot of value in what it is that we offer,” Scott said.
Recent high school graduates like Lexi Brock are seeing the value, too. She’s one of more than 27,000 Alabama high school students earning college-level credit at a community college while still in high school.
“I have about a full semester of college out of the way whenever I start,” Brock said.
Brock will be heading to Auburn University at Montgomery in the fall with a semester’s worth of class credit already complete. She plans to study computer science, with goals to someday become a videogame developer.
She said she took the dual-enrollment route to not only get a head start with college but to cut down on education costs.
“Because community college prices are much cheaper than university prices,” Brock said.
It’s not just dual-enrollment and degrees that the state’s community colleges offer. The ACCS also boasts several credential programs that it said help with workforce development.