COVID-19 impacting enrollment at area colleges

Published: Jun. 12, 2020 at 8:36 PM EDT
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With the coronavirus, more students are opting to stay closer to come — which may explain the uptick in community college enrollment.

Pitt Community College in Winterville said they are getting more student interest now. They said this could be attributed to multiple factors, including an easy option for staying to close to home and a reasonable price point as many navigate unemployment.

While PCC’s enrollment numbers have increased in their summer semester by more than 100, four-year universities like ECU have decreased in student enrollment, losing 300 students compared to last year.

"Given the heightened sense of caution a lot of students that would've planned to go to a four-year institution, are considering staying closer to home just for this upcoming year at least,” explained the director of recruitment at PCC, John Carrere.

The school said it’s not just high school students enrolling, but it’s also those who want to take a gap year and unemployed adults who now have time to take classes.

ECU said they expect to have around the same amount of students for their fall semester as last year, though they admit that many of their out-of-state students have already canceled their applications because of the distance.