Improving economy means fewer students on college campuses

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

An apparent decline in Northwest College enrollment may be for a very good reason.

Wait, we’re not knocking our favorite college. That’s right, this looks like it’s a good thing. The reason for our positive approach to this news is the college’s belief that a decline in enrollment is tied to a stronger national and state economy.

Currently, NWC is experiencing a 4.7 percent decline in the number of students registered compared to last fall. The drop in full-time equivalency, or FTE, at the college is anticipated to be about 4.2 percent. Full-time equivalency is the total number of credit hours taken by all students divided by 12. More than 2,000 students, both full- and part-time, attend the two-year school. The figures fluctuate, of course, and for many reasons. One is the state of the economy.

When people cannot find good-paying jobs, some choose to enroll or return to college, both to improve their skills and make them more attractive to potential employers, as well as to use the time they have free from work to learn and grow as people. Both are worthy endeavors.

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