Climbing Enrollment Brings in $70 Million

Allan Beglarian

Amid the ever-shrinking state educational budget and increasing costs, competition for student count and retention is taking an increasing importance among colleges statewide.

Eighty-five percent of the Glendale Community College budget is based on the Full Time Equivalent Student or FTES count. The FTES is not based on how many students are on the campus but rather calculated based on units-per-semester or enrollment units, which translates into roughly 525 contact hours ? projected time spent with a teacher by a student. Once this count is submitted to the state, the college receives funds based on this figure.

“This spells into an approximate apportionment of $70 million a year for the college,” according to Lawrence Serot, vice president of Administrative Services at GCC.

According to the latest figures, the projected head count is up by 6.10 percent and enrollment units are up by 4.67 percent. Although the goal set forth by GCC is still to be met, on layman’s terms, the current figures spell into more money for the college.

“Why should students be concerned with any of these figures?” The question was put to Serot, who replied, “Students shouldn’t be concerned. This is what we are tasked with, but students should be aware that more money transfers to resources.” He continued to explain; “this would mean things like full time teachers versus part-time teachers, getting newer computers versus working with older models, having the latest software and other educational resources.”

“And, ultimately,” Serot went on to say, ” our goal has always been to provide the best quality education we can afford our students, and increasing our resources will translate into quality.”

Community colleges, unlike the
state universities and UC campuses, depend almost entirely on enrollment for funding. If enrollment is down one year, there is less funding available for the following year. This fall’s increase will help next year’s budget.