Community schools throughout the country suffered amazing losses of registration during pandemic. But some campus leaders say that free university programs could offer that impulse institutions need to reverse decreases. Multiple states, as well as individual universities, have begun programs without registration in the last two years to cover the registration not covered by federal financial aid or other registration assistance programs. Free programs have established their gaze to attract recent graduates from high school, whose registration fees immediately after high school fell 6.8 percent in 2020 compared to the previous year, according to data from the National Center for Research of Cleaning students. Only 2 percent of the students who graduated from the high school that year, but who did not register later began the university the following year in the fall of 2021. Other campus seek to return to participate in adult students over 25 years old that may have abandoned growing work and family responsibilities during pandemic.

The results of some of these programs, commonly known as promise programs, leave administrators with hopes about the next autumn semester. Although registration numbers are preliminary, promise programs have led to a swell of applications in some community schools at a time when these institutions are eager to recover their losses and fill the shortage of local workers with new graduates.

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"The psychological power of the word' free 'cannot be underestimated," said Janet M. Storor, vice president and academic director of the Maine community school system.

She has the hope of the perspectives of registration for this fall, which attribute to a new free university program launched throughout the state at the beginning of this summer. Total applications to the seven community schools of the system increase by 11 percent, at the end of July, in relation to the previous year, according to system data. The new applicants to the system also increased approximately 13 percent.

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The program covers two years of enrollment in Maine Community Colleges for any person who graduated or is scheduled to graduate from high school in 2020, 2021, 2022 or 2023, including current students of community schools and students that They obtained a Ged.


Like community schools throughout the country, the system experienced significant decreases during pandemic. The student's staff fell from 11,465 to 9,996 throughout the system between the fall of 2019 and the fall of 2021.

but the system seems to be folding a corner. While the registration numbers for this next fall are still in flow, they are in an ascending trajectory. Until now, the registration of new students increased by 15.8 percent compared to last year, and almost 77 percent of those newly registered students are people who qualify for the free university program. Total registration throughout the system increased 4.4 percent, and system leaders expect that figure to continue growing. At the end of July, 10,431 students enrolled for the fall of 2022.

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  • the increase In the registration of the new students in particular, the hope that the system can recover from the pandemic registration losses, which she believes that will mean greater upward mobility for more residents of Maine.

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