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Local colleges see increase in enrollment

Midland College and UTPB are seeing a rise in student enrollment numbers.

MIDLAND, Texas — A lot of colleges all over the country saw a drop in enrollment when the pandemic hit, including here in the Permian Basin

"Last year we kind of recovered from the pandemic a little bit, we're still feeling the effects a little bit but we're up from last year, up from last fall. We measure it from unduplicated enrollment so we're up about 1 percent from last year," said Michael Dixon, the Vice President of Student Services for Midland College.

Over at UTPB they welcomed a record high freshman class, and overall enrollment growth of 3.8%. Part of the growth is likely due to their Falcon Free program which gives qualified students free tuition. 

Midland College also offers scholarships and incentives for their students.

"Our signature scholarship is the Legacy Scholars Program that's offered to Midland County graduates. There's requirements and components to that but it's really unique because it's a full scholarship for students. We have about 130 students on that scholarship, freshman and sophomores, and there's a community service component and a philanthropy component," said Dixon.

The growth in enrollment for local colleges is positive for students and the community all around.

"Of course the ones that stay here and they go to work we hope that they contribute and contribute back to the community in whatever ways community service is important to them," Dixon said.

The more and more students that enroll in our colleges, the better.

"So we're working towards those goals, we're trying to facilitate processes, make things easier so students don't see it so much as a barrier to get enrolled in college, also on that end we're not just focused on enrollment but we're focused on completers, the number of degrees we get," said Dixon.

NewsWest 9 also reached out to Odessa College for their numbers; however, they are waiting for their current enrollment period to finish. 

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