Nearly 7,800 students have enrolled at A-B Tech Community College for the fall semester — a 3.7 percent increase over last year. But at nearby Mars Hill College, enrollment is up 7 percent from last year, and 20 percent from two years ago.
“We are trying to make private higher education affordable for the families of the area by using the financial aid award process to maximize opportunities,” says John Wells, Mars Hil’s executive vice president. He credits the increase to “streamlining processes for both admissions and financial aid, we deliver more information to potential students quicker. That information then paves the way for students to choose Mars Hill.”
At A-B Tech, President Hank Dunn attributes the increase to the school’s flexible classes, affordable tuition, and quality education. “More and more people are recognizing that A-B Tech is a smart choice for higher education, whether they are looking for career training or planning to start here before transferring to a four-year university,” he says.
Dunn also touts A-B Tech’s affordability: “students can graduate with a two-year degree for about $6,000, a fraction of the cost at four-year public and private colleges and universities.”
WLOS TV’s John Le reported on the rise in enrollment, linking it to the economy — students there for the cost or changing careers in difficult times. Le notes that A-B Tech is trying to adjust to parking and traffic challenges, and is notifying students via Facebook and Twitter when lots are full or available.
Here are the full press releases from each college: