Judging by the past two years, those who waited until the last minute should be prepared for long lines, but the college opened three additional registration days over the summer to cut down on the foot traffic.
“Students can register for classes on Tuesday and Wednesday from 8:30 a.m. to 1 p.m., and from 4 to 7 p.m., as long as they have already applied and been accepted to the college, taken the ACCUPLACER and have already applied for financial assistance,” College Public Information Officer Anne Morris said Thursday. “Anyone who applied but did not pay by the end of the last week of July should also come back and have their class schedules re-entered into the system.”
Since the onset of the national recession, community college enrollment figures have grown across the state, and RCC is no exception.
However, the number of students who haven’t yet paid tuition, and a backlog of hundreds of applications, make an accurate head count for next semester impossible yet.
Last year, the number of students enrolled at RCC went up about 14 percent for the fall semester, and the county unemployment rate has yet to significantly decline.
Despite the increased number of students, RCC President Dr. Dale McInnis said there is still space available at the college.
“We will make every effort to accommodate everyone who comes,” he said Thursday. “It is because of the lines that form during late registration that we encouraged people to register during dates in June and July. We will, however, make every effort to work with each person as efficiently as possible.”
RCC Director of Counseling Sharon Goodman said the lines have already begun to form with students trying to square away financial aid and other concerns before the semester starts.
“We have had long lines for the past two weeks as people have been preparing to come next week,” she said. “We expanded the hours for assessments and still had lines. To be realistic, prospective students should expect delays during the registration process.”
For those who haven’t squared away their financial aid, now is the time to act according to RCC Financial Aid Director Bruce Blackmon.
“It’s never too late for someone to file for financial assistance, but it will be difficult to process someone who files now in order for them to be eligible to use financial aid for payment,” Blackmon said. “They should be prepared to pay for their classes and be reimbursed through financial aid. That reimbursement is based upon federal guidelines.”
A course in Air Conditioning, Heating and Refrigeration is new to the curriculum this year and has garnered considerable interest, Morris said.
She said Welding classes offered during the day are still popular as they enter their second year at the college, and health care courses of study, such as Medication Administration and Nursing Assistant, remain popular.
Staff Writer Philip D. Brown can be reached at (910) 997-3111 ext. 32, or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.