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Improving Economy Translates to Declining Md. Community College Enrollment

Howard Community College gained the most students since 2010 of any Maryland public two-year school. The biggest decline came in Baltimore County.

Howard Community College gained the most students since 2010 of any Maryland public two-year school. File|Patch
Howard Community College gained the most students since 2010 of any Maryland public two-year school. File|Patch

After an enrollment boom during the Great Recession, the number of students attending community colleges in Maryland is falling, reports The Washington Post.

Data from the Maryland Higher Education Commission shows a 4 percent enrollment decline this year, and a nearly 6 percent decrease since 2010, according to the Post. There were 139,198 students attending the state’s 16 public community colleges as of fall.

Historically, when the economy sours enrollment booms at community colleges as unemployed or underemployed workers seek new training, the Post says. But once the hiring market improves, enrollment at two-year schools tends to drop.

At Montgomery College, the largest community college in Maryland, fall enrollment was 26,155 -- almost 5 percent lower than the previous year, according to the Post. Prince George’s Community College enrollment was 13,574, down 8 percent since 2010.

The largest enrollment drop among the state's two-year colleges was a 24 percent decline since 2010 at Baltimore City Community College. Howard Community College had the largest gain in that time, 7 percent.

>>Read the full report on community college enrollment at The Washington Post. 

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