Enrollments are Up at NECC
While enrollments at many public community colleges, colleges, and universities across the state increased this fall, Northern Essex Community College, with campuses in Haverhill and Lawrence, led the pack among the 15 community colleges.
Up 5% from the fall of 2011 to this fall, Northern Essex had the largest increase statewide in its full-time equivalency (FTE) which measures enrollment in full-time figures. The college’s FTE increased by 227 students, from 4255 to 4482.
In unduplicated headcount, Northern Essex tied for top place with Bunker Hill Community College with a 4% gain, increasing from 7036 to 7312 or by 276 students.
The college’s largest increase was among Hispanic students, according to NECC President Lane Glenn. “Hispanic students now represent 34% of our student population, a 16.2% increase in just one year. This isn’t surprising since the number of Hispanics living in the communities we serve has also increased.”
More recent high school graduates are also choosing to start at Northern Essex, according to fall enrollment figures. High school enrollments were up as follows: Lawrence High School, up 53%; Haverhill High School, up 30%; Methuen High School, up 27%; Timberlane Regional High School, up 58%; Salem (NH) High School, up 31%; North Andover High School, up 50%; Amesbury High School, up 94%; Sanborn (NH) Regional High School, up 62%.
“It’s all about value and quality,” said Glenn. “High school students and their families are recognizing the value of starting at a community college. One recent Northern Essex graduate, who received her liberal arts associate degree here and transferred to Salem State College for her bachelor’s, was buying a house while her peers were worried about paying off college loans.”