Steamboat Springs Officials at Colorado Mountain College's Alpine Campus are gearing up for another busy fall.
The number of full-time, degree-seeking students enrolled at the two-year community college is up for the third consecutive year, said Brian Hoza, director of student services at CMC.
"We have another strong enrollment," Hoza said Wednesday, less than a month before the fall semester begins.
Enrollment of full-time students has been so strong that full-time slots were filled a month earlier than last year, Hoza said.
College officials credit the increased interest in CMC to several factors, including rising tuition costs at colleges and universities across the state and nation, increasing academic requirements at higher education institutions and the increased likelihood that credits earned at two-year schools will transfer to four-year universities in the state.
"Many colleges, especially in Colorado, have increased significantly their tuition," Alpine Campus Dean Robert Ritschel said. "We're an affordable alternative."
Tuition at CMC has remained level for three years.
The school is anticipating an enrollment of more than 500 full-time, degree-seeking students this fall. About half of those students already have registered for fall classes.
An additional 75 to 100 part-time, degree-seeking students are expected to enroll, and the college will continue to provide continuing education courses for members of the community. Open registration begins Monday, Hoza said, and all local post office box holders should receive bulletins soon.
Similar to last summer, the school has a waiting list for full-time students who didn't enroll before all slots were filled. School officials are recommending that some of those students enroll at other CMC campuses and attempt to transfer to the Alpine Campus in the spring.
The school also is faced with limited student housing. Some dormitories will have three students to a room, Hoza said.
Administrative challenges aside, college officials are pleased to see the growing trend of students looking to two-year schools as a viable option in their pursuit of higher education.
For one, heavy and early student enrollment often signals the incoming class of students is committed to academics and high achievement, Hoza said.
"It is exciting," he said. "There's always a lot of anticipation that builds this time of year."
The school has held two orientations for incoming students, and a final orientation is planned for mid-August. Classes begin Aug. 23.