College of Marin Spring Enrollment Is Down
New Financial Aid Regulations, Fee Increases and Budget Cuts Continue to Take Toll
Kentfield, CA—Feb. 5, 2013—College of Marin’s Planning, Research, and Institutional Effectiveness Office released yesterday enrollment figures for the spring 2013 semester. There are 6,620 students enrolled for spring 2013 compared to 7,337 students that enrolled in the spring 2012 semester; a decrease of about nine percent. This semester’s average student load increased to 7.4 credits compared to 7.2 credits for spring 2012.
While a California community college education continues to be an excellent value when compared to universities, enrollment fees have gone up from $20 per unit in 2008-09 to $46 per unit in 2012-13--an astounding 130 percent increase in just five years.
As a result of these significant fee increases, the availability of financial aid plays an increasingly significant role in enrollment at College of Marin. According to Financial Aid Director David Cook, more College of Marin students are applying for financial aid now than at any other time in the college’s history.
“Five years ago financial aid applicants represented about 20 percent of our student population. Now they represent close to 80 percent of our student population,” said Cook.
Even while demand for financial aid has increased exponentially at College of Marin, new federal financial aid regulations are making it harder for students to qualify. Students must make good academic progress in order to continue receiving financial aid. Approximately 586 College of Marin students that were enrolled in fall 2012 credit classes have been denied financial aid for spring 2013 because of poor academic performance.
According to Planning, Research, and Institutional Effectiveness Director Dr. Chialin Hsieh, the effect is cumulative.
“Fewer students enrolling in consecutive semesters due to fewer course offerings have a domino effect,” said Hsieh. “Additional cuts would result in continued decrease in enrollment.”