08/12/05 — Students sign up for WCC classes

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Students sign up for WCC classes

By Bonnie Edwards
Published in News on August 12, 2005 1:48 PM

Students trickled into the Wayne Learning Center this morning for the last day of registration at Wayne Community College.

College President Ed Wilson said enrollment should be about the same this year, except for the loss of federal prison students. The Federal Prison Camp at Seymour Johnson Air Force Base is slated to close this year. Wilson said the college lost 56 full-time equivalencies, which add up to about $3,800 each in income for the college.

He said about $240,000 won't be in the coffers this year because of the prison closing. The prisoners were taking everything from basic courses in reading and writing to college transfer courses and business administration.

"I'm not excited or depressed at this point," Wilson said Thursday after the students started lining up at 7:15 a.m. for the registration, which began at 8. "I don't know how many we'll get until they come."

Wilson said he won't know until the second week in October what the final registration count will be. He said Seymour Johnson Air Force Base has two, eight-week sessions rather than a complete semester of 16 weeks.

Students from the base like the eight-week sessions, which allow them to complete a whole course in two hours a day for three days a week rather than one hour a day, Wilson said.

"They think it helps them with deployments and TDYs (temporary duty)," he said.

Wilson said as of 1:22 p.m. Thursday, 2,664 students registered for fall semester. He said at this time last year, the college had 2,706 students registered. The final head count last year after the second round of registrations on base lef the college with a fall enrollment of 3,182 students. And although today ends the registration for classes on campus, base registration will continue to Monday or Tuesday.

The college processed about 950 students for financial aid from the federal government, including the Pell Grants and the Stafford Loans. Wilson said the federal financial aid so far totals more than $2.8 million. The total last year was 1,483 students, who received $3.39 million in federal financial aid.

But the students receive other financial assistance as well, he said, like the college's foundation scholarships and third party pays like Vocational Rehab, Work Force Investment Act and tuition waivers for senior citizens and law enforcement officers taking in-service training.

Wilson said 60 percent of the students who attend Wayne Community College receive some form of financial aid, which added up to about $7.4 million last year.