Sep 9, 2010 12:44 PM
BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) -Southern University's student enrollment is down another 4 percent this fall while Baton Rouge Community College continues to steadily grow. That's according to college data released Wednesday.
Southern reported a total enrollment this fall of 7,313 students compared with 7,619 last year. BRCC jumped about 3 percent to 8,340 students, up from 8,104 enrolled last fall.
Southern Chancellor Kofi Lomotey credited the 300-student dip primarily to state budget cuts to colleges and concerns from potential students about toughened admission standards.
"It's basically what we predicted," Lomotey said. "But that's not to say we're happy." Southern decided against tightening admission standards this fall at the last minute. Lomotey said those increases will go into effect next fall instead to give high school students and their parents more time to prepare.
Fewer employees in financial aid, admissions and recruiting offices also have hurt, he said."We have less money to recruit," Lomotey said. On top of that, Lomotey argued, state funding for colleges is
weighted against Southern.
Despite budget cuts, he said Southern now plans to "redouble" its student recruiting efforts. Enrollment figures become official after the 14th day of classes. Southern and BRCC started the semester before most other colleges, such as LSU. The information from most other campuses is not yet available.