© 2024 Interlochen
CLASSICAL IPR | 88.7 FM Interlochen | 94.7 FM Traverse City | 88.5 FM Mackinaw City IPR NEWS | 91.5 FM Traverse City | 90.1 FM Harbor Springs/Petoskey | 89.7 FM Manistee/Ludington
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

Petoskey's North Central Michigan College sees enrollment increase

Areal view of North Central Michigan College in Petoskey.
Charles Dawley
An aerial view of North Central Michigan College in Petoskey. (Photo: Charles Dawley)

Students at North Central Michigan College enrolled in about 1,000 more credit hours this semester, compared to a year ago.

The college said it’s the largest increase among Michigan community colleges. And the increase defies national trends as college enrollment continues to decline.

NCMC Registrar Joe Balinski said it probably has to do with new athletics programs and housing initiatives.

The college has had club sports programs for a while now, but North Central was granted membership in the Michigan Community College Athletic Association (MCCAA) in 2021 and the National Junior College Athletic Association’s Region 12, Division II.

Balinski said many of those new students are college athletes — drawn to the school since it joined the competitive conference and required to take a heavier course load.

“The athletics program has brought a unique group of students to campus, some from inside our district, but many are from outside of the district,” he said. “They have to be full-time students. So that increases our tuition hours and credit hours.”

Another large factor, Balinski said, is the housing market in the region — it's expensive.

As local rentals and the cost of commuting increase, dorm life has become a more viable option for students, Balinski said, adding that students who live on-campus are more likely to take more credit hours.

“Our campus housing seems to be more competitive and more affordable for students,” he said.

Total enrollment increased only slightly — by six students.

The college’s full-time equivalent (FTE), which aggregates part-time students into full-time students, also increased by 8.56 percent, or 67 students, according to a press release.

Want more news like this? Sign up for the IPR Newsletter.

Michael Livingston covers the area around the Straits of Mackinac - including Cheboygan, Charlevoix, Emmet and Otsego counties as a Report for America corps member.