Updated 08/27/2012 07:11 PM
First day of classes at BCC
The BCC campus was crowded with students Monday. It was the first day of the fall semester on the campus. As our Melissa Kakareka tells us, the students were excited about their classes and the savings they are getting by taking them at a community college.
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BROOME COUNTY, N.Y. -- Mersadies Cairns is starting her third semester at Broome Community College.
"I'm going here for liberal arts. Each semester, I learn a little more about what I want to do, leaning towards starting my own business," said Cairns.
She was one of several students attending the first day of class on the campus Monday. The school will be teaching more than 5,700 students this fall and is also welcoming 21 new faculty members to replace retired professors and to fill new positions.
Officials say enrollment numbers are higher than previous years for incoming first year students, as well as high school juniors and seniors taking classes. Something that's a good sign for the continued growth of community colleges like BCC.
"What's happening is a higher percentage of high school students graduating are going to community college, so more and more and students are heading to community college out of high school. That’s a trend around the country. Unfortunately, in the northeast, the high school classes aren't growing so much, so we're getting a higher percentage of smaller classes," said BCC President Kevin Drumm.
It's a trend that school officials say offers many benefits for its students, especially financially.
"It's a lot lower for four years, comparatively speaking, it’s about $10,000 a year between us and a SUNY four year and upwards of $30,000 to $40,000 a year when looking at private four year schools, " said BCC Director of Financial Aid Douglas Lukasik.
Getting students excited about learning while helping them save money on their education.
"I go here pretty much for free. I get financial aid for everything I need. They've been so helpful for everything and for financial aid, I would definitely recommend it for people."
As students begin opening their books for another semester.