GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — Grand Rapids Community College’s enrollment is up by 4.4% for the Fall 2021 semester, according to a news release Tuesday.
Officials say it’s because of state and local programs lowering tuition costs and the opening of the consolidated Lakeshore Campus.
And the number of students can still grow, with opportunities to enroll in classes starting in the semester’s second seven weeks.
The number of on-campus classes increased “dramatically” from a year ago, and GRCC offers courses in other formats as well, including hybrid, real-time virtual and traditional online classes.
“We understand there are great pressures on people’s time,” said Tina Hoxie, GRCC’s associate provost and dean of student affairs. “We now have a number of programs that remove cost as a barrier to education, but finding time can still be an obstacle for many students who want to start or come back to finish their education. We’re scheduling classes that are more convenient and allow people to keep moving forward, even if it is through two classes a semester.”
In addition, GRCC has more than 2,000 students enrolled through Futures for Frontliners, a state program for residents who worked in essential jobs during the Spring 2020 COVID-19 shutdown.
Also, almost 1,000 students are enrolled through Michigan Reconnect, a state scholarship program providing free in-district tuition for those 25 and older who don’t already have a college degree.
The number of students ages 30-39 jumped 37% and students ages 40-49 increased 57%.
About 750 students are taking classes at the new GRCC Lakeshore Campus, with nearly 95% of seats filled. Class sizes this semester are limited to 75% capacity to follow social distancing protocols.
Headcount figures don’t include GRCC Workforce Training programs, which do not operate on a semester schedule. About 10,560 students participated in these programs during the 2021-2022 academic year.