Enrollment Figures Up

martina-vassileva
el-vaquero-staff-writer/" class="creditline">MARTINA VASSILEVA
El Vaquero Staff Writer

Student enrollment is, as
expected, up by 3 percent
this fall, said Dean of
Admissions, Sharon
Combs.

As the number of classes
offered at GCC has
increased, so has the student
enrollment. “We have more
classes this fall than we had
the fall before,” Combs
said.

In the fall of 2003, the
college offered classes
totaling in 133,000 units.
This semester, students
have 140,250 units available;
this equals a total of a
9 percent increase in offered
units.

“We’re back to where we
were before the budget
crunch, as far as the number
of classes,” Combs said.
The enrollment of international
students is also
growing steadily. “We have
just a few more international
students than last year,”
Combs said. GCC is home
to 505 international students
this fall.

The money that these
international students pay
per unit is allotted to the
college. International students
pay $140 per unit to
GCC in addition to the $26
that goes to the state,
Combs said.

“The $140 is based on the
average cost it takes to educate
a student. It’s just like
if the state gave us the
money for that student. It
covers the same things the
state pays for,” said Vice
President of Administrative
Services, Lary Serot.
This includes teachers’
salaries and the cost of
maintaining classroooms among other things that the
state usually covers, Serot
said.

“The instructional
programs are back to where
they were,” Serot said. But
although classes have been
reinstated, student enrollment
is still down.

“Student enrollment isn’t
back to where it was. It’s
going to take us a couple of
years to restore that.”
Student enrollment in GCC had been gradually
decreasing since last year.
These numbers decreased as
the number of classes
decreased.

We have 15,700 full-time
students this fall, which is
about 800 full-time students
less than in fall of 2003, Serot
said. “We think the increase
in fees has cost us some
students,” he said.

A lot of students are not
aware of offered benefits like
financial aid, Serot said. We
need to advertise that and it’s
probably going to take us a
year before students know that it’s available to them, he
said.

“The cost of education is
high, but students aren’t
aware that it’s affordable. If
they qualify, the only thing
they have to pay for is their
parking permit.”

This year, following
passage of Gov.
Schwarzenegger’s budget,
GCC has received $64.6
million.
“This is about a 6 percent,
or $4 million, increase from
last year,” Serot said. “We are
definitely better off than we
were last year.”