Northeast enrollment sets new record

BOONEVILLE – A record number of students have enrolled at Northeast Mississippi Community College this fall, according to preliminary data.
The school will have an unduplicated head count of 3,741 students in its academic, career and technical programs combined, according to the college’s Office of Planning and Institutional Research.
That number is a slight increase from last fall when the college reported 3,707 students at this time, immediately after registration closed. It comes one year after the college showed a 12.3 percent increase from the fall of 2008.
“We’re just excited with the increase, and we’re very thankful for it,” said Lynn Gibson, Northeast’s director of admissions. “We worked really hard to keep the increase going and keep the momentum going.”
The school has also noticed a significant rise in the number of students it has enrolled during the current calendar year, counting the spring, summer and fall semesters. After enrolling 5,238 distinct students in 2009, it has enrolled 5,618 this year, a 7 percent increase.
This is the first year that all five counties served by Northeast have had tuition guarantee programs that cover tuition for all recent high school graduates beyond any scholarships and financial aid.
Gibson said that he didn’t yet have figures for how many students had taken advantage of the tuition guarantee, but that he has seen an increase in incoming freshmen.
“We have never had as many applications for admissions as we have this year,” Gibson said.
Gibson said the school has been working with the Mabus Agency for marketing help and has seen campus visits from prospective students “increase threefold.”
Gibson has also seen a large number of adult learners enroll at the college this year.
With a record enrollment, Gibson said the school has felt growing pains in limited parking spaces and crowded classrooms.
“The housing is full, the cafeteria lines are full, and the bookstore lines are long,” Gibson said. “We’re bursting at the seams, but that is a good problem to have.”
Contact Chris Kieffer at (662) 678-1590 or chris.kieffer@djournal.com.

Chris Kieffer / NEMS Daily Journal