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PCC Serving Record Enrollment in Fall '12

A crowded Russell Building parking lot offers a good indication of the record enrollment PCC is witnessing this fall.

WINTERVILLE—Though they suspected it long before the final numbers had been tallied, Pitt Community College administrators confirmed this month that the school is indeed serving a record curriculum enrollment this fall.

According to PCC President G. Dennis Massey, 9,047 students are taking credit classes at Pitt this semester, an 8.3 percent increase from the same point a year ago. The college’s previous enrollment high was 8,600 students during the Fall 2010 semester.

Massey attributed the enrollment increase to the “hard work and creative processes of all faculty and staff.” He noted, in particular, the efforts made by faculty advisors and Student Development Services personnel, who enhanced the school’s registration, orientation and financial aid application processes.

“In all, this was a team performance for PCC, and I am proud of everyone,” Massey said.

Joanne Ceres, PCC director of enrollment management/registrar, noted that while admissions applications were up four percent this fall, enrollment exceeded that increase.

Ceres explained that better-prepared students as a result of the improved orientation program contributed to the rise in enrollment as did better recruiting efforts across campus and a new registration format that allowed continuing students to sign up for summer and fall courses during the spring. She noted 87 percent of the 3,097 continuing students who registered for fall courses during the spring registration period were still registered as of Aug. 27.

Ceres said another significant factor leading to higher enrollment was a new automated packaging program that sped up the financial aid application process and resulted in an increased number of files awarded.

She said the college’s financial aid office awarded 1,776 more students this semester than last fall (a 37 percent increase) as a result of the new automated system. All told, she said PCC received 11,962 financial aid applications this semester and awarded 6,558 of them, compared to 10,987 received a year ago with 4,782 awarded.

Depending upon the number of students that sign up for late-start classes this fall, Ceres said PCC’s record enrollment could climb still.

“There are still some openings in our late-start classes,” she said. “Students can continue to register for these classes up until the day before they begin, so the total number of students can still rise.”