11.5 million students enrolled in community colleges across the nation last year. Preliminary counts show that this year will seen an increase of that number.
Wallace Community College has seen a 7.8% increase in the number of students and almost a 9% increase in the number of credits taken.
Students at Wallace have their reasons for attending the two-year college.
"It was more efficient cost-wise, and less traveling than a four-year university," says freshman Robert Gibson.
"I feel like I needed more one on one assistance," says Misty League, also a freshman. "Subjects are easier to understand because you have someone there to explain it to you, you don't have to go off searching for somebody."
An obvious reason to attened a two-year program is tuition cost. A year at Wallace is just over $2100; at most four year universities you will likely pay thousands more.
"Our students not only save half the price of tuition and fees, but they also save on the other things that go with college like room and board, gasoline, and food," says Sally Buchanan, director of marketing and PR at Wallace Community College.
Buchanan says it is not uncommon to see students enroll even after completing 4-year universities. She cites a U.S. Department of Labor study that says 80% of jobs require some career or technical training, something that two-year programs emphasize.
"And those are jobs making really good money," Buchanan says. "Some of our students can leave our programs and go into starting salaries of $30-40,000"
Wallace Community College currently has around 3,900 enrolled students.