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Amarillo College spring enrollment holds steady despite downward national trend

With spring enrollment holding steady, Amarillo College is successfully bucking the downward enrollment trend of the last three years among community colleges nationwide.

The fall 2017 report from the National Student Clearinghouse Data Center reveals that community colleges collectively experienced 2- to 4-percent declines in enrollment each year for the past three years.

Amarillo College has been a clear exception.

Not only has AC’s spring enrollment been stable since 2016, the College’s headcount on Jan. 31 – the 12th class day this spring – stood at 9,077, which is exactly what it was on the same day last year.

Additionally, AC students this year are actually taking more classes than they did last spring, so the College has increased its contact-hour output by a full percentage point in 2018, and state funding is based on contact hours.

“The stability of our headcount enrollment in recent years is especially good news considering the declining community college enrollments being reported nationwide,” said Bob Austin, vice president of enrollment management at AC. “At the same time, our students are taking more classes, which means they will graduate or transfer faster, or be more likely to succeed.

“Amarillo’s economy is stable, too,” he said. “Jobs are available. People have choices. That they continue to choose Amarillo College tells us that we’re doing a good job of aligning our programs with labor market demand and making the process of transferring to four-year universities seamless. As a result, we’ve also improved our retention rates from one semester to the next.”

While Texas colleges and universities report official headcount numbers to the state on the 12th class day of each semester, Austin notes that enrollment is always a moving target at AC. The College has multiple entry points for enrollment, including the upcoming eight-week session that begins on March 19. 

It is open to both new and returning students, and seats are available in a wide variety of classes. For more information, simply call Ask AC at (806) 371-5000 or visit https://www.actx.edu/enroll/.


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