Colleges and universities nationwide will be faced with a student shortfall in the coming years, but one school in Northeast Arkansas has fended that trend off for at least one more year.
Black River Technical College’s headcount, the number of individual students, increased by 13.9%. Student semester credit hours (SSCH), the number by which tuition and fees are calculated, increased by 13.8%. In addition, there were 6.2% more freshmen this year than last.
“We are pleased to serve more students than we anticipated,” said BRTC President Dr. Martin Eggensperger. “Inflation has significantly cut purchasing power and many prospective BRTC students could have chosen to take advantage of higher wages rather than enroll in college.”
These numbers are significant because on average U.S. colleges and universities have experienced declining enrollment over the past few years. COVID also caused enrollment to decrease at higher education institutions.
“I am incredibly proud of the faculty and staff at BRTC,” said Jason Smith, Vice President of Student Affairs. “It is rare to see such a significant percentage increase in fall-to-fall enrollment at any institution. In order to see such enrollment gains, it took the entire BRTC team to make this happen. Because of their efforts to recruit and retain students, BRTC has realized one of its historically highest enrollment increases in BRTC history.”
“I believe that increasing affordability while focusing on quality workforce education has resulted in this unanticipated but very welcome increase in future Black Hawks,” Eggensperger added.