Moraine Valley Expects Regular Enrollment Drop, Rise in Noncredit Students
College president says the poor economy, the shrinking availability of financial aid and the high cost of textbooks are factors in keeping some students away.
With only a week before the new semester begins, Moraine Valley Community College is anticipating a slight drop in student enrollment but looking positively at historical and noncredit registration numbers.
“The best we can hope for is a flat enrollment,” Moraine Valley President Vernon Crawley told the school's board of education on Monday, “although my best estimate … is probably in the range of a 2-percent down.”
He attributed that to the poor economy, the shrinking availability of financial aid, and the high cost of textbooks.
“I think some of them don’t believe that going to school is going to generate a job for them,” he said.
This and other topics will be discussed during a trip to Moraine Valley’s campus by Illinois Lt. Governor Sheila Simon on Sept. 21.
Despite the drop, this semester's and last semester's enrollment numbers are historically high for the college, and registration will remain open for many more weeks. Regular classes start Aug. 22, while some accelerated credit and noncredit classes start as late as December.
Also on the bright side, Crawly noted, enrollment in noncredit courses has skyrocketed from 741 students in the previous fall semester to approximately 1,800 as of Monday.
A presentation earlier in the board meeting showed that Moraine Valley had received $7.6 million in federal, state and private grant funds last year—an increase of about 30 percent from the year prior—some of which helped pay for noncredit classes.