The student newspaper of Bucks County Community College

The Centurion

The student newspaper of Bucks County Community College

The Centurion

The student newspaper of Bucks County Community College

The Centurion

Loading Recent Classifieds...

Why Bucks Students Think Enrollment is Low

Photo courtesy Unsplash

As the 2022 Spring semester draws to a close, the time for looking back begins. The semester was full of fun activities around campus and several landmark occasions including the recent inauguration of Dr. Felicia L. Ganther as the fifth President of BCCC. 

While there was excitement and fun around campus as the spring heat began to arrive, not everything was perfect for the college this semester. Student attendance in particular saw a dramatic change with historically low attendance among all three campuses. The college is not the only one experiencing this negative change in student attendance. 

All around the country colleges are struggling to maintain a healthy student attendance rate. Community colleges like Bucks in particular are struggling in the post-pandemic world to bring students back to the campus and back to normalcy. Statistical information from some online sources says that in Fall of 2021, on average the decline in first-time enrollment at community colleges was a staggering 21 percent. 

For community colleges, first-time enrollment is crucial beings as their degree programs are only for a maximum of two-year degrees. So this incredible decline is absolutely bad news for community colleges around the country and again this problem has been reflected at Bucks. The student population for the spring semester was staggeringly low. 

For some perspective, we chose to ask the students that are on-campus this semester some questions regarding why they believed this decline was in effect. Sean Sengpiel, a first-year student who has some in-person and online classes, discussed why he thought students were not coming back to the school. 

“I think COVID is a primary reason people are avoiding college which would lead to less enrollment,” he sadi, adding, “I do think this is a nationwide issue, however, pertaining to financials, safety, and an entirely new outlook on life and the world.” 

COVID has not left anyone’s mind and it will most definitely be casting its shadow on everything we do as a society for a while. So it is very understandable why college students would not want to attend in-person classes with COVIDs presence in mind.  

This issue compounds too when we understand that learning atmospheres change from student to student. For example, the argument can be made that we have an excellent online school atmosphere for students to partake in if they have COVID fears, but some students perform very poorly in online environments and still fear COVID enough to not want to be on campus. For those students, the situation is truly disparaging. 

Jared Loeper, a first-year student at Bucks who takes both online and in-person classes at the Newtown Campus. “I think that people are not considering college worth their money or going into massive debt for,” he said. 

The new age we live in has opened up the options for people to work and make professions without needing the higher education that past generations have needed to get the jobs they wished to get. New jobs have appeared in various aspects, especially with the connection to social media platforms and the internet in general. This has definitely put a damper on colleges and attendance in general on a national scale. 

Tyler Pagano spoke about how this issue is somewhat unique to community colleges as a whole. “I think the problem is relatable to a national scale but bigger state and private universities do not feel it as much because they get people from all over the country while we only get local population attendance normally.” 

This is just another part of the problem where the community colleges struggle in comparison to the big state and private universities all across theugh their perspective why they think attendance is so low at the college.