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Wake Tech's enrollment booming

Record enrollment and demand for classes at Wake Tech Community College is causing the school to drop students who haven't yet fully paid for the upcoming semester.

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RALEIGH, N.C. — Enrollment has reached an all-time high at Wake Tech Community College.

The college's senior vice president, Bryan Ryan, said Wednesday that 16,000 students are enrolled in classes for the fall session.

The numbers, he said, are a result of a combination of students planning to transfer to a four-year college or university and unemployed workers going back to school after getting laid off.

Typically during tough economic times, Ryan said, growth jumps 12 to 15 percent.

"When the economy is in difficult straights, then we've got people who are out of a job who want re-training to get back into a job as quick as they can," he said. "You've got people who are unemployed who want to improve their skills."

Approximately half of those enrolled haven't paid their tuition in full, Ryan said, and those who still owe by Thursday will be purged from the registration system.

Their spot in classes will open up to the more than 14,000 names on an online waiting list.

"I don't think we'll get to all 14,000," he said. "We can fill the seats, but some waiting lists are longer than the number of seats that are available in the class."

Wake Tech has brought in additional faculty to help with the demand, but Ryan said it's unclear just how many people will be accommodated.

"We try to manage the growth as much as we can, but sometimes we can't predict where the growth is going to be," Ryan said.


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