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Local colleges expecting to see increase enrollment from local students

EICC says they understand that students might be more comfortable staying close to home.

DAVENPORT, Iowa — With an end to the pandemic nowhere in sight some students are choosing to stay closer to home this fall instead of going away to a four-year college.

EICC is expecting to see students stay close for comfort amid the pandemic.

Classrooms that have sat empty for months at Eastern Iowa Community College will soon be filled with students.   

Second year nursing student Zoe Schork is relieved to be staying close to home.

Schork says, “Knowing you have family that is out and about and you don`t know if they could get sick or not.”

Assistant director of admissions Tishly Herrington says it's something she's hearing a lot from new students.

“I think that they just might think this is going to be the safer option for them currently.”

Schork says, it’s a lot cheaper, and right now four year colleges look very similar to two year colleges with classes changed because of COVID-19.

She says, ''It`s a lot cheaper in the long run. Yeah, you kind of do miss out on those university experiences, but if you think about it you`re really paying a lot less for the same classes.”

Incentives in place for the fall due to the pandemic make the cheaper price tag even more appealing.

"You can choose a laptop, or you can choose one free three credit hour class and then if you`re not full time you still have the option to get 20 percent off of your tuition.”

Many new students come from local high schools, and their enrollment is up.

If you have taken a class for EICC credit in the area during high school, it transfers over to the college. These students qualify for connections scholarships.

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“Our connections scholarships are up over 25 percent. Our connections scholarship is what students get that have taken our concurrent courses while they were in high school. I think obviously students are choosing to stay home.”

With the traditional college experience altered for the time being it`s making more sense to a lot of these students to stay home.

“With all of the uncertainty we know that this is here and it`s going to stay here for a little while. It provides some stability, some continuity.”

A shift in direction for some students due to the pandemic.