With high unemployment hitting communities across the nation, more people are returning to school to gain new skills and an upper hand on the competition. Owens Community College in Northwest Ohio is expecting an increase of close 24% for full time students this fall and has seen an increase in summer enrollment of close to 20% as well. Technical schools, like Tennessee Tech, are also seeing a boom in enrollment, thanks to job seekers looking for new skills.
Part of this increase can be attributed to the fact that many of these schools have noticed a shift in demand and have accordingly adjusted their programs to fit the needs of nontraditional students, such as unemployed Boomers. More community colleges are also offering evening and online courses, which make it easier to work on a new skill while you are still gainfully employed.
Current four-year students also have plenty of opportunities at community colleges. As Zac Bissonnette pointed out in WalletPop's Under-Rated series last fall, community colleges are a great place to pick up credits on the cheap. Owens Community College attributes a portion of its large increase this summer to students who will transfer credits back to their four-year institute in the fall. For example, next year, a full time student at Polk State College in Florida will only pay $2,594 for 30 credit hours!
If you're looking for a cheap way to give yourself an edge on the competition, local community colleges are where it's at. With enrollment numbers already up by 10-24%, if you're interested in a class at your local community college you better apply soon, since they may not be able cope with all of the increased demand!
Enrollment up up up at community and technical colleges