The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

Enrollment grows 11 percent, causes financial aid backup

Campuses+experience+student+traffic+jams+as+registrants+wait+in+long+lines+to+address+various+financial+aid+matters.+Financial+aid+services+has+dispersed+more+than+%2425+million+so+far+this+term.+See+other+first+week+photos+on+page+14.++Photo+by+Casey+Holder%2FThe+Collegian
Campuses experience student traffic jams as registrants wait in long lines to address various financial aid matters. Financial aid services has dispersed more than $25 million so far this term. See other first week photos on page 14. Photo by Casey Holder/The Collegian

By Shelly Williams/editor in chief

Campuses experience student traffic jams as registrants wait in long lines to address various financial aid matters. Financial aid services has dispersed more than $25 million so far this term. See other first week photos on page 14.  Photo by Casey Holder/The Collegian
Campuses experience student traffic jams as registrants wait in long lines to address various financial aid matters. Financial aid services has dispersed more than $25 million so far this term. See other first week photos on page 14. Photo by Casey Holder/The Collegian

Parking spaces may be even more scarce this semester as TCC enrollment has increased by at least 11 percent from last fall.

More than 49,000 students have registered for the fall semester compared with more than 45,000 last year. As of Aug. 31, TR Campus had 4,908 students enrolled in classes.

“This is a 99.19 percent increase from last year at this time where we had 2,464 students enrolled at the same point of registration,” TR registrar Adam Baugh said Aug. 24.

On Aug. 30, South Campus had an estimated 12,823 students, NE Campus, 17,983; NW Campus, 13,532; SE Campus, 14,882 and TR Campus, 5,518.

District Weekend College enrollment numbers were not readily available, but TR Campus had 1,274 thus far.

More increases are still to come, NW director of student financial aid services Trina Smith-Patterson said. Last fall, financial aid services dispersed about $22.3 million districtwide. This year, it’s increased by more than $3 million.

“As of Aug. 25, we’ve [TCC] distributed $25,454,667 for the Fall 2010 semester,” she said.

This compared to an estimated $79.9 million awarded for the 2009-2010 year by the end of the summer. She said the amount is almost double what was awarded two years ago.

As the number of students applying has increased, the district has also seen larger numbers of students targeted for financial aid verification.

Verification is a review process similar to an audit, Smith-Patterson said. The federal government randomly selects about 30 percent of a college’s financial aid applicant pool for verification.

During the process, TCC reviews income documents used to complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). In the past two months, TCC has received more than 5,000 verification documents, she said.

“We encourage students to apply for financial aid no later than the third week of March,” she said. “For those who wait until the summer months, they are experiencing long delays in the review process due to the number of documents we receive.”

Each campus’ enrollment figures exceeded last year’s numbers, according to district figures.

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