AUSTIN (KXAN) — Picking a college or university is a big decision and with a pandemic there are even more things to think about.
Deciding on a 4-year college has been difficult because I haven’t been able to see many colleges,” said Leander High School senior Macy Schubert. “I didn’t really get to think about it because COVID took over my brain.”
With graduation fast approaching, Macy decided to go to Austin Community College.
“This pandemic really put that into focus for me,” Schubert said. “I think it is better to stay home and spend less money because it is all online.”
Dr. Gaye Lynn Scott with ACC says the school is an attractive choice for students because of all the programs they offer, and the options they give students who will look to transfer. She says the pandemic is giving the school more looks.
“The option of a community college is something students might not have considered a decade ago,” Scott said. “I think students can come here and get academic support, transfer support … we have career services we can figure out.”
Emily Faulkner, the college and career transition coordinator at Leander High School, says she noticed more students being interest in the community college this summer.
“ACC enrollment definitely went up at Leander High School,” Faulkner said. “So it has been, ‘I am sitting at home anyways and I am still getting these credits, so why not use ACC as a stepping stool before I transfer to a 4-year university?'”
Schubert says the decision will give her a little more time to figure things out, but it will also save her family some money.
“I think it is the smarter and safer approach,” Schubert said.
ACC says more than 26,600 students registered for the summer 2020 term, which is almost a 10% increase over 2019. Students were also taking more classes than in past years.
More students from out-of-district and out-of-state enrolled in fall 2020 which was up approximately 7% and 14% respectively, a spokesperson with the school tells KXAN.
ACC enrollments remain significantly higher compared to other community colleges in the state, which on average dropped nearly 9% according to ACC.
While interest was up at Leander High School, ACC saw a slight decrease in enrollment this fall. The school says they believe this is from classes that required in-person instruction and labs.