Community College Week publication recently published its list of the fastest-growing community colleges. Central Texas College (CTC) ranks 13th in the nation among the top 50 two-year schools with enrollments of 10,000 or higher. CTC enrollment rose 13.8 percent from 21,532 in 2007 to 24,498 in 2008 – an increase of 2,966.
According to Community College Week, college attendance has been increasing during the past 30 years but the significant trend is the rise of community college enrollments among younger students 18-24 years of age. Last year, nearly 12 percent or 3.4 million people in that age group were enrolled in two-year colleges. This is an increase of 10.9 percent from the year before.
Much of the increase is dollar driven as tuition rates at community colleges have not gone up nearly as fast as those at four-year schools. The average tuition rate at a two-year college is $2,372 this year, compared to $7,020 at a public, four-year college and $26,000 at a private institution. CTC maintains one of the lowest tuition rates in Texas of $48 per credit hour for in-district residents and $60 per credit hour for out-of-district residents.
The fastest growing two-year school on the Community College Week list was Los Angeles Trade Technical College with an increased enrollment of 32.5 percent. Other colleges ranked ahead of CTC included Ivy Tech Community College – Central Indiana; Reedley College, Victor Valley College and East Los Angeles College of California; Salt Lake Community College (UT) and Edison College of Florida. No other two-year school in Texas made the top 20.
Community College Week was established in 1988 as a biweekly publication and serves as the independent source of information for and about two-year college faculty, administrators and trustees. It offers news and features not provided by other news sources, including analyses of critical academic trends and issues, vital statistics, technology updates and employment opportunities.