As of Thursday, enrollment for the upcoming fall semester at its West Texas campuses sits at 838 students. In the fall of 2010, there were 1,410 students. Two years prior, the fall class of 2008 had more than 1,800 enrollment students.
If the numbers hold steady, there will be a more than 50 percent decrease from 2008 to 2011.
One new student attributes the drop to prerequisites that have to be met.
"First, you've got to be Texas Success Initiative (TSI) met, basically means when you get all your GPA averages high enough," said student Tim Simmons.
According to Simmons, those who cannot meet this requirement are left with few options.
"If not, then you have to take a boot camp, Smart Start," added Simmons. He also says with this program students can attempt to raise their grades to avoid having to take remedial courses.
In looking at other possible reasons for less enrollment this semester, Vice President of Student Development Kathleen Butler said the college lost several personnel in their recruiting department. She also says there was a $10 increase in tuition for academic courses and $25 increase for technical courses.
In addition to that, Butler says it is an accountability issue. The college does not want to invest in a student who is not going to produce a degree and be a contributing member in their field of study.
From a student perspective, it is more than accountability, it boils down to the lack of time and money they have to give to the college.
"Probably don't have enough financial aid or don't have enough time because we also have work we have to do," said Simmons.
TSTC officials wanted to make it clear these numbers are just preliminary and a firm number won't be released until the 11th day of class.