POCAHONTAS, AR (KAIT) – Fall enrollment numbers are up at colleges and universities all across Region 8. This boost has been coming year after year for many four year colleges. At Black River Technical College, enrollment us up 12% from last year! While more students are attending the main campus in Pocahontas even more students are going to school at the Paragould campus!
"We have a record enrollment of 2,508. Our last record was last fall with 2244," said Dr. Michael Sullens, Vice President of Student Services at Black River Technical College.
That enrollment is reflected on the Pocahontas campus but less than an hour down the road the Paragould campus is experiencing an even bigger boost. 21% more students are enrolled at the Paragould campus this fall.
"They could go ahead and complete that Associate of Arts degree over there if that was their main ambition and never have to step foot on this campus," said Dr. Sullens.
Gil Cupples has attended classes on both campuses.
"That let's me know that I made a very good choice and that this school is growing immensely," said Cupples.
Dr. Sullens said non-traditional students have made up the majority of their numbers in the past but this year 54% of their students are traditional, which means they are between the ages of 18 and 24 years old.
"It is very much more economical to attend Black River than some of the other schools in the area. Tuition is cheaper," said Cupples.
"The economical situation within the area has had a lot to do with the driving force of people continuing their education," said Dr. Sullens.
Dr. Sullens said with fewer jobs, folks are finding education is an alternate route.
"I do believe that the individuals now are seeing they are going to have to have some college or a certificate to re-enter the work force," said Dr. Sullens.
The average cost of tuition at BRTC is $1,230 a semester. There are 840 students that are enrolled this fall in Paragould. Currently classes are not held on Friday's at the Paragould campus.