State College-Orange was recently recognized in a national publication

for enrollment growth. “Community College Week,” a weekly magazine that

serves community, technical and junior colleges in the nation, listed it

as one of the fastest growing public two-year colleges in the nation

from fall 2009 to fall 2010. LSC-O was ranked number eight out of 50

different two-year colleges, with enrollment numbers ranging from 2,500

to 4,999, who have seen enrollment growth from that time period.


show that LSC-O enrolled 2,262 students during the fall 2009 semester

and jumped to 2,649 students during the fall 2010 semester, reflecting a

17 percent increase in enrollment. While the publication has not yet

calculated enrollment growth for the fall 2011 semester, LSC-O

celebrated another record-breaking enrollment count last year. The

official student headcount on campus was 2,763 for the fall 2011

semester, reflecting yet another increase of 4.03 percent.


Michael Shahan, president of LSC-O, commented last year on the rising

numbers, saying he believed the increase was indicative of several

things at work.

“First, it shows that students are seeing the quality of our product,” he said. “The second is value.”


the “Community College Week” article was published to highlight the

decline of enrollment figures for community colleges throughout the

nation, LSC-O has been fortunate to see only a steady increase over the

past four years. While other schools in the state, as well as across the

nation, have suffered at the hand of failing economies, LSC-O has been

able to keep the cost of attendance affordable for students. State

support for higher education has decreased significantly over the last

10 years, forcing colleges and universities to pass costs on to students

in the form of higher tuition and fees.


the cost of tuition at LSC-O will not increase for the upcoming spring

2012 semester. For a student taking 12 semester credit hours, this means

a savings of anywhere from $168 to $300 when compared to other local

campuses. And the reason why there is no increase can be directly

attributed to a growing enrollment.


Jennifer Ryan, says that she decided to attend LSC-O after her position

was dissolved at her company and few jobs were available due to the

struggling economy in the area. The lower cost of attendance was her

deciding factor.


husband and I decided it was time to have a career instead of another

job,” she said. “After much research, we discovered LSC-O was convenient

and affordable for us. Once enrolled, I value the campus even more

because of the scholarship opportunities and student involvement with

various organizations and activities.”


said she believes several factors contribute to the successful

enrollment, but affordability is high on the list. Sophomore, Cody

Ballard, concurs.


my opinion, LSC-O is growing rapidly because of its reputation of

having great programs, an accessible location and cheaper costs,” said

Ballard. “Many students I talk to about it mostly agree the student to

teacher ratio is one of the campus’ best aspects.”


says due to the economic situation, she sees more non-traditional

students, such as herself, making a career change or trying to obtain a

degree to be more successful in their current position.


of us are in a position where we absolutely need to earn a degree so

that we can strive for a better career or position to assist our

financial obligations in life,” said Ryan. “Overall, we are blessed to

have a college in our back yard that did not triple tuition rates due to

our poor economy.”