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Community colleges see a decrease in enrollment numbers

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ROCKFORD (WREX) — Due to the pandemic, college students across the country have had a tough decision to make this year. Should they attend a community college? Should they try a 4-year university?

"I didn't want to go off to ISU because I didn't want to spend the money there and I would have rather stayed local and save much more money," said incoming Rock Valley College freshman, Alexa Fisher.

Fisher says her initial plan of going ISU changed because of the fear of the unknown with COVID-19.

"I'm not sure what to expect with this whole pandemic," said Fisher.

While Fisher is staying home for community college, RVC is reporting a decrease in enrollment. Enrollment numbers are down by 12% this year compared to last year.

The Vice President of Student Services at RVC, Patrick Peyer, attributes the decrease in enrollment numbers to the pandemic.

In past years, RVC was close to 6,000 students. This year they are at 4,900.

Highland Community College is right there with RVC. Their enrollment numbers are down by 10% this year.

"The unknown factor is what it is. You see high schools unveiling their plans this week and parents are starting to figure out what's really happening," said Jeremy Bradt, Director of Enrollment and Records at Highland."

It's getting used to the new "normal" that students and staff will all have to adapt to.

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Erin Chapman

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