Merced College surprised by summer enrollment numbers

MERCED, California New students looking to enroll in classes for the summer or the fall semester at Merced College had to wait for hours Wednesday morning.

The line is about four times shorter than the line that wrapped around campus when enrollment began on Monday. Administrators say they were taken by surprise at the sheer number of students who showed up.

Vice president of student personnel Anne Newins says there are several reasons why so many new students are flocking here. She says local high school graduation numbers are at an all time high -- many people who haven't been able to find jobs are going back to school, and state universities are cutting back or eliminating summer school programs.

Newins says prospective students are coming to Merced from across California. "We've had people calling from Napa, Los Angeles, the Bay Area they are desperate to get classes."

Neighboring campuses like Fresno City College say they are seeing typical enrollment numbers; however there is a 7% decline in enrollment across the district. At the College of the Sequoias summer enrollment is down 12% due to the fact the school is now offering fewer summer courses.

As for students waiting to enroll at Merced College many classes are already full. Students are now being put on waiting lists or may have to sit in on classes once the semester begins.

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