A news release recently published by the Kansas Board of Regents shows Barton Community College attracted the second largest number of new students compared to the other 18 community colleges in Kansas. In the fall semester of 2011, 257 students found their way to Barton’s campus for the first time.
Barton was second only to Neosho County Community College in Chanute, which saw an influx of 280 new students.
Labette Community College and Johnson County Community College showed increases of 224 and 164 respectively.
The remaining community colleges either showed very little growth or a decrease.
Barton was ranked fourth for growth percentage relative to its headcount prior to the fall semester.
Admissions Director Tana Cooper attributed the growth spurt to a more finance-conscious youth.
"I think the local high school students are realizing the affordability of Barton," she said. "They want to stay close by and get two years of their education at a significantly lower tuition rate."
Dean of Academics Richard Abel had a similar theory.
"It’s likely that more students are looking for local, accessible training programs for career changes or enhancements," he said. "Potential students and their parents are looking for quality education that is more affordable."