Grand Rapids Community College has slightly fewer students than projected, but administrators said they the percentage of full-time students has dropped to the lowest level in 10 years – and believe health insurance is a factor.
Trustees learned Monday that the fall headcount of 17,601 was down 1.8 percent after several years of record growth. Administrators built a budget expecting no enrollment increase, but the figures were better than the 5 percent drop leaders feared during the summer.
Of the 17,601 fall students, 6,740 – 38.3 percent – are enrolled full time. That's the lowest percentage since 2001.
Donna Kragt, GRCC's dean of institutional research, said there are several reasons for the decline, but points to new laws allowing children to stay covered by their parents' health insurance until they are 26.