Central Texas community colleges see surge in fall enrollment

TEMPLE, Texas (KWTX) – President Biden’s loan forgiveness plan cancels $10,000 in federal student loans. But for some students this is not enough and they are now looking for more affordable options.

McLennan Community College, Central Texas College, and Temple College are cheaper options around $1,200 to $1,400 per semester for full-time students or those enrolled in 12 credit hours. That compares to about $6,000 per semester for a four-year college, according to CBS.

More and more students are turning to these cheaper options. Temple College sees a 10% increase in full-time fall enrollment compared to last year’s fall semester. Meanwhile, Central Texas College is seeing an 8% increase over the same period.

At Temple College, nursing student Brian Omosa took no student loans for his first two years, paying entirely out of pocket.

“The prerequisites I followed were in the range of $200 to $500, so for me [Temple College] was affordable,” Omosa said.

Temple College President Christina Ponce said grants, new degree programs and college fairs have all helped boost the numbers. She said stories like Omosa’s are not uncommon for students at Temple College.

“Very few of our students have to take out a loan because there are so many support services and scholarships available for them,” she said.

The increase this fall semester comes as many colleges, including Temple College, have seen declining enrollment in recent semesters due to the pandemic.

“Like most schools, we’ve seen a bit of a decline, but we’ve held steady throughout the pandemic,” Dr. Ponce said. “This fall semester, I was happy to see students coming back, enrolling full-time.”

But it’s not just about saving costs, it’s the Temple College environment that keeps students like Omosa coming back.

“The community around Temple College,” Omosa said. “Everyone here is friendly and ready to help you succeed.”

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