Nationwide, Two-Year College Enrollment Higher Than Four-Year

Tallahassee, FL - Researchers say as many students, if not more, are going to two year colleges as they are a four-year college or university nationwide.

That trend holds true in Tallahassee.

WCTV spoke with a researcher of the study, who says Florida has long ago crossed that bridge of having more students at public two-year colleges than some four-year colleges or universities.

For example, at FAMU, the preliminary enrollment for fall 2012 is 12,057, which is lower than enrollment at Tallahassee Community College.

Student enrollment at TCC is more than 14,000. The Southern Regional Education Board says public two-year colleges approached a historic milestone in 2010 when enrollment became equal to public four-year colleges.

However, researchers with the study say Florida has always been a leader in having high number of students at community colleges.

Students say convenience and cost-efficiency top their reasons for choosing TCC.

Brittney O'Brien, TCC Student, stated, "I really like it. It's really homey and it's close to home. I didn’t have to go out of state. I really like that I didn't have to pick my major right off. I can just take this couple of years that I need to figure it all out."

Lourena Maxwell, TCC Enrollment Services, says, "Two-year colleges are dynamic in that they offer programs and training students right away. The length of time for them to earn a degree is shorter, tuition is more affordable, the one-on-one attention from faculty and staff is a lot more prevalent."

Analysts say in 1970, public four-year colleges in Florida had around 81,000 students enrolled, compared to 108,000 at two-year colleges.

Currently, there are almost 472,000 students at two-year colleges, and only 318,000 at four-years.

The researcher told me that the reason Florida has always had a higher number in two-year colleges is because decades ago, Florida put a special emphasis on community colleges as an entry point for college careers.

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