CRC facing low enrollment numbers in fall semester

The campus has a fewer amount of enrolled students for fall 2015 compared to fall 2014.

Currently, there are 14,674 students enrolled at Cosumnes River College, which is a one percent decrease compared to this time last year, according to a CRC research brief.

“Although enrollment dropped compared to last fall, when we finally had the resources to add classes back to the schedule,” said Dean of College Planning and Research Katherine McLain. “The drop is less than what was experienced when we had to reduce our course offerings.”

The decrease in the number of students also extends to the other colleges in the Los Rios Community College District. These numbers are lower than projected and may have an effect on funding.

“We are under the amount we would like to be,” said Public Information Officer Kristis West.

She said that CRC has a certain amount of students that need to be enrolled at the campus in order to receive state funding.

The California Community College system consists of 72 districts and 112 colleges. The primary factor for funding the CCC’s is in correlation with the results of Full-Time Equivalent Students (FTES), according to the Los Rios Community College District Tentative Budget.

West attributed the decrease in student numbers to a growing economy.

“When the economy begins to improve, and more people are able to find work, people will often choose to work over getting a college degree,” West said.

When the economy is especially bad, students return to school to receive training for new skills, West said.

Some of the CRC students agreed with what West said.

“People just want to focus more on work than coming to school,” said 20-year-old business marketing major Heriberto Nunaz. “Like my cousin – he has an opportunity to go to college, but instead he wants to [work] full-time.”

Over 78 percent of undergraduates work 30 hour-per-week jobs, according to the U.S. Department of Education.

“I’m actually thinking about that – working full time,” said 20-year-old law enforcement major Lilina Angeles. “I just think that people get lazy, too. They just go to work instead, and get money.”

Most students are female, according to the CRC research brief. There were 55.7 percent of female students and 44.3 percent of male students in fall of 2015. However, though female students represent more than half of the student population at CRC, the trend is nationwide, according to the research brief.

McLain stated that she did not believe CRC’s mostly female population related to the decrease in enrollment.

“[Enrollment] shouldn’t affect one gender differently than another,” McLain said in an email interview. “In addition, our enrollment data shows a pretty consistent pattern in the percentage of our students who are female [55 percent].”