Eastern Shore Community College Enrollment Soars, Increasing 22%


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Amid a nationwide decrease in higher education enrollments, Eastern Shore Community College enrollment continues to surge this fall.

Enrollment in the college’s academic programs is up by 22%, putting ESCC in first place among all of Virginia’s community colleges.

According to the “Chronicle of Higher Education,” across the nation community college enrollment is off 7.5% this fall.

The surge in enrollment at ESCC continues a trend in 2020.

Enrollment was up 30% in the summer, the second largest increase among Virginia’s community colleges, and in the spring 2020 semester ESCC led Virginia’s community colleges with an 18% increase, while the state average was -3%.

With fewer than 50 full-time employees, ESCC has shown that a motivated and driven team can achieve success, even with the challenges faced by colleges and students in the pandemic era of higher education.

ESCC attributes part of its success to enrolling new students who planned to attend a four-year school, but opted for the local, safe, and cost-saving alternative of Eastern Shore Community College.

With guaranteed acceptance and transfer of credits to all the Virginia state schools upon successful graduation from ESCC, staying local and safe has become an even more attractive option.

Nearly $300,000 in new scholarship money has also had an impact.

Patty Kellam, director of the ESCC Foundation, said, “We were able to match almost every student with some kind of tuition support.”

ESCC also launched the YES! Tuition Promise, which guarantees that eligible full-time students will receive enough aid to cover all tuition and fees.

“My colleagues ask me how ESCC is thriving while other colleges are struggling,” President Jim Shaeffer said.

“Some of it can be imitated, like our tuition promise and registration rally. But one part cannot be replicated, and that would be our people,” he said.

For more information about enrolling at ESCC or scholarship opportunities, contact the college at 757-789-1789 or go online at http://es.vccs.edu

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