Hocking College this Spring Semester once again has experienced an increase in students enrolled compared to the same period last year.
However, as was the case in 2019, this increase (3,447 students compared to 3,150 students last spring semester) is thanks to a large number of College Credit Plus (CCP) students at Hocking. CCP is an Ohio program allowing high school students to take college courses either at their school or at the college itself.
As of the 15th day of the Spring Semester (when colleges are required to report their enrollment to the state), almost half of Hocking’s total enrollment was composed of CCP students.
Tim Brunicardi, Hocking College spokesperson, said this week that Hocking College has 2,107 part-time students this semester, with 1,685 of those students being College Credit Plus students (who, on average, take two classes). Meanwhile, Hocking has 1,340 full-time students this semester, down from 1,416 at the same time last spring semester.
The number of CCP students at Hocking has increased steadily over the past few years at the college, which has been the main contributing factor in Hocking College’s enrollment increases during those years. The college made a concentrated effort to court those students in 2016 and 2017, which led to the college’s first enrollment increase in roughly six years during fall semester 2017. Hocking College jumped from 81 CCP students in fall semester 2016 to 832 CCP students in fall semester 2017, and continued to increase in fall 2018 (1,110 CCP students) and fall 2019 (1,382 CCP students).
As the number of CCP students has risen at Hocking, the number of full-time students attending the college has decreased, from 2,043 in fall 2017 to 1,777 in fall 2018, though that number held steady at 1,792 in the most recent Fall Semester.
Brunicardi has stated that there “isn’t really a negative impact budget-wise” on the college due to that increase of CCP students over full-time students, because the CCP students are often “taught at the high schools by high-school faculty” while Hocking is paid by the state for each student
Larisa Harper, director of Ohio’s College Credit Plus program, said in an emailed response to Athens NEWS questions this week that when a public high-school student takes college courses through CCP, the money paying for those courses comes out of the school district’s “foundation funding” from the state.
That payment differs based on the arrangement with the college. Typically, Harper explained, if a course is being taught at the high school by a credentialed high school teacher, there’s a default “floor rate” of $41.64 per credit hour that’s paid to the college.
“If this is about reimbursing the college, the default rates of the per-credit hour are determined based on a formula within Ohio Revised Code,” Harper said. “Typically, a course being taught at the high school by a credentialed (approved by the college) high school teacher has a default ‘floor’ rate of $41.64 per credit hour. A course taught at the college campus has a default ‘ceiling’ rate of $166.55 per credit hour.”
While the increase of CCP students at Hocking is undoubtedly bringing in additional revenue to the college, it’s clear that it doesn’t generate as much revenue as would a traditional student at Hocking (in-state tuition costs $4,390 for the full year), some who would be paying room and board.
According to records on the Ohio Department of Education’s website, Hocking College received a total of $454,619 in reimbursement for CCP students in the Fall 2018 and Spring 2019 semesters combined.