Community College Enrollment Increase

This tough economy has forced many to make financial changes and now higher education is one of them.

"Vernon College has seen a tremendous enrollment the last couple years and we do attribute that to the situation in the economy," says Dusty Johnson, President of Vernon College.

Johnson says each time the economy goes down, enrollment at community colleges goes up.  That's because students know they can save money going to a two year school and then transfer to a four year institution later.

"Some of the kids who may have always thought they were going off to the four year school right off the bat, they are maybe taking some time to come see us and get one year or two years out of the way and then transfer," added Johnson.

For many students, that plan works best.

Garrett Lewis, a student at Vernon College says that's the plan he's following.

"If you come here and get all your basics done, you end up saving money in the long run which puts more money in your pocket," says Lewis.

"Its definitely easier on the money.  It's not as expensive, says Vernon student Robert Davis.

Nursing program student Donna Poore added,"Their books I feel are a lot cheaper and I'm on financial aid so it makes it a little easier."

Vernon College is also seeing a rise in the amount of students applying for financial aid.  Just in one year the amount of students who applied for aid increased by over 1,500 with a total of almost 6 million dollars going towards student's tuition's.

"We are more economic especially with the downturn of the economy people are looking at saving every dollar they can, says Johnson"

Taelor Rian, Newschannel 6.