Illinois residents are enrolling at state community colleges in record numbers. Statewide enrollment is up about five percent from fall 2001, but it's even higher for Rockford's Rock Valley College.
Enrollment this fall is up six percent compared to last fall. This is growth that's creating some opportunities and challenges for the college. Many are hitting the books at Rock Valley College to learn a new career in the hopes of a better salary.
But the non-traditional student is becoming more traditional, and over the past two years enrollment at Rock Valley has exploded jumping 17 percent. The school's director of enrollment services attributes the growth to the economy and the fact that more high school graduates are staying closer to home.
School officials said it will take some time to fully accommodate all of the students. As more revenue comes into the college, they said they will be able to afford to grow with the student body.