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Spring community college enrollment
at another record high
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[MARCH 4, 2004]  SPRINGFIELD -- Recently released figures for spring 2004 from the Illinois Community College Board show another record level of total statewide enrollment at Illinois community colleges. Statewide enrollment is up 1.9 percent from spring 2003 and has shown a huge increase of 11.8 percent over the past five years. These numbers eclipse last year's spring record.

The total head count in credit-bearing classes is 367,547 students for this spring. The near-record fall 2003 figure was 364,284.

"It's unusual to see overall spring enrollment top fall enrollments, but that is what we are seeing here," said Geoffrey S. Obrzut, president and chief executive officer of the Illinois Community College Board. "We are seeing demand from those in the work force who need to enhance their skills, and the low tuition makes community colleges a much more attractive option.

"We have seen this trend of increasing spring enrollments for the past four years now," said Guy H. Alongi, board chairman. "It is a credit to our colleges and the manner in which they deliver a quality educational experience to their students."


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Figures for full-time equivalent enrollments have also increased. The full-time equivalent enrollment, or FTE, is the measure of total credit hours divided by 15, the number of semester hours considered as a full-time class load. The full-time equivalent is up 2.3 percent over last spring and up 15 percent compared with five years ago.

"The increase in FTE means that more students are taking more classes," Obrzut explained. "As a matter of fact, the spring 2004 full-time equivalent enrollment also is the highest it has ever been, and last year was a record too."

[Illinois Community College Board news release]

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