Bakersfield college student enrollment at lowest in recent years, not even meeting state quota.

Lowest in recent years, not meeting state quota

BAKERSFIELD, Calif. - In just a couple of years, Bakersfield College has gone from too many students to not enough.

BC spokesperson Amber Chiang said enrollment is at its lowest in several years.

"Just a couple years ago we were at 21,000 students, now we're back down to about 16,000," said Chiang.

Each semester, community colleges must meet a certain quota in order to get paid by the state.

"We're actually five percent under that number as of last count so it means we're not serving as many students but we're also not getting paid as much either," said Chiang.

Chiang said most BC students are part timers who have to work or take care of their families in addition to school.

"I am part-time right now because I work in the oil fields and I have to do a lot. I have bills I need to pay and I'd love to be full time but I have responsibilities and stuff I have to pay," said part-time BC student Alex Dull.

Chiang said one reason for enrollment decline is fewer courses available due to budget cuts.

"We've been cutting courses for so many semesters now that students are having a harder time getting classes they need," said Chiang.

The economy is another reason.

"As the economy is good, you'll see enrollment going down, people have jobs, they have things to earn money. They don't seek school as an option," said Chiang.

In the past, enrollment was up because the economy was down and people were going back to school for retraining or a career change.

Chiang said a college enrollment and the economy go hand in hand.

"Just pay attention to the economy and you'll know what community colleges are doing too," said Chiang.

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