By Ethan Yankey

Hutchinson Community College’s enrollment has been slowly declining in recent years.

“We’ve had a declining enrollment for about 3 years,” said Dr. Carter File, President of Hutchinson Community College.

“It’s been down 1-3% each of those years.”

However, File said he wasn’t unhappy with this slight decrease.

“It seems to be a predominant trend with community colleges in Kansas.”

“Community college enrollment is counter-cyclical to the economy,” he said.

“As the economy improves, our enrollment softens. As our economy softens, our enrollment improves,” File said.

Rex Cheever, Hutchinson Community College’s research coordinator, provided enrollment statistics for recent years:

In 2013-2014, HCC had 9,678 students, with 30% of those being fulltime and 70% being part-time. The student body was 56% female and 44% male.

In 2014-2015, HCC totaled at 9,275 students, with 25.9% of students being fulltime and 74.1% being part-time. Females outnumbered males at 54.5% of the student body, with males at 45.5%.

In the 2014-2015 school year, the average student age was 27 years. Also, 67% of students were over the age of 21. These two statistics could seem shocking until you consider that 28.8% of HCC’s students, or 2,668, were taking strictly online courses.

Also consider, students who are at least 21 will be able to carry guns on college campuses by 2017, pursuant to current law.

Between the 2013-2014 and 2014-2015 years, there was a 4.16% decrease in the amount of students.

Cheever agreed with File regarding the decline in enrollment, saying, “as the economy gets better, our enrollment goes down a little bit.”

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