Founded in the heart of Meridian, Mississippi in 1937, Meridian Community College now enrolls more than 4,000 students. One of the most affordable undergraduate institutions in Mississippi, MCC offers students 55 career and technical programs to choose from, along with a University Transfer Associate of Arts degree. Hundreds of online college courses are made available to distance students each semester through the Holladay Center for eLearning, and more than 6,000 online courses are also offered through the Mississippi Virtual Community College. Online courses at MCC offer the same academic credit as their on-campus course counterparts, but allow students with busy schedules the flexibility they need to succeed. The college recommends that online students dedicate nine hours of study per week for each three-credit course. MCC associate-degree programs are accredited by The Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.
In general, yes. Tuition at open enrollment schools tend to be lower than selective four-year colleges. That's because most open enrollment colleges are community colleges that strive to give lower-income students more access to a college education. But there's one caveat – although they typically have open enrollment policies, some for-profit schools are more expensive than comparable nonprofit colleges.
Located in Malvern, the College of the Ouachitas is a public, two-year institution providing quality campus-based and online programs in academic, career, and tech disciplines. COTO serves 3,500 students in the Arkansas counties of Dallas, Clark, Grant, Hot Spring and Saline, and students benefit from one of the most affordable tuition rates in the college's service area. COTO was also ranked among the Aspen Institute of College Excellence's list of the top 10 community colleges in the nation. The two-year school offers courses leading to the Associate of Applied Science, Associate of Arts, and Associate of Business degrees. In 2016, the college received a $2.24 million grant to improve distance education. This year, COTO's 12 online college programs offer five associate degrees and seven certificates.
This for-profit university has campus locations in Colorado Springs, Denver, and Aurora. The school operates primarily as an online college. Founded in 1965, Colorado Technical University began as a vocational training school for individuals with military backgrounds. Today, this university features a military education department and offers online associate, bachelor's, and master’s programs with eight start dates throughout the year. Transfer students with an associate degree can earn a bachelor’s degree in 17 months.

In every year since 2000, the college enrollment rate for young adults was higher for females than for males. This pattern was observed for young adults overall and for White and Hispanic young adults specifically. For example, in 2017 the female-male gap in college enrollment rates was 7 percentage points for young adults overall, 7 percentage points for White young adults, and 10 percentage points for Hispanic young adults. Among Black young adults, the college enrollment rate was higher for females than for males in most years since 2000, except in 2007, 2012, 2015, and 2016, when the rates were not measurably different. In 2017, the female-male gap in college enrollment rates was 6 percentage points for Black young adults.
Kobzina echoes some of these concerns. "I believe those who'd suffer the most are the students who get admitted simply because they have a sub-par GED or high school diploma. We want to prepare our future leaders to be critical thinkers and, in more general terms, well educated. Someone who comes to a four-year school and doesn't have the educational background isn't likely to persist. What happens to them when they have $20,000 in loans and flunk out after the first year? We aren't setting them up for success that way."
Fall enrollment in degree-granting postsecondary institutions increased 24 percent between 1996 and 2006. Fall enrollment in degree-granting postsecondary institutions was 12 percent higher in 2016 (19.8 million) than in 2006 (17.8 million). The overall increase between 2006 and 2016 reflects an increase of 18 percent between 2006 and 2010, followed by a decrease of 6 percent between 2010 and 2016.
North Carolina Central University is part of the University of North Carolina system, so students who earn a degree from NCCU are guaranteed fully accredited and respected degrees. The same can be said about students who earn a degree through their online program, NCCU Online. One of the most affordable ways to earn a degree from the UNC system, NCCU Online offers students the chance to study toward a degree from anywhere at any time, ideal for students with busy schedules or jobs. Most students who choose to earn an online degree are looking to further their career or switch fields, so NCCU offers their online students exclusive access to internships, jobs, networking opportunities and other career resources. Hybrid programs are also available for students who would like some traditional courses while also completing the majority of their degree online.
Not all students are rock stars, and that's OK – some do alright, while others need a little more support. Students with less than stellar high school grades may be more productive – and comfortable – at an open enrollment college, where the environment isn't competitive and coursework is challenging but not impossible. Attending an open enrollment college first can also be a great way to prepare for a more selective four-year college.
Northwestern State University of Louisiana was established over 130 years ago. Today it is Louisiana's first and largest electronic campus. The online school at NSU, called eNSU, is also is one of the cheapest options for earning a degree in the state. One reason it is such a value is that Louisiana residents aren't required to pay any type of out-of-state fee. Courses are available individually, or students can study toward a degree through one of their degree programs. Financial aid is also available to those who qualify, and there are special benefits for military members.
From 2000 to 2017, college enrollment rates increased for Black (from 31 to 36 percent) and Hispanic (from 22 to 36 percent) young adults. The rates in 2017 were also higher than in 2000 for White (41 vs. 39 percent) and Asian (65 vs. 56 percent) young adults.3 The rate was not measurably different between 2000 and 2017 for American Indian/Alaska Native young adults. More recently, college enrollment rates were higher in 2017 than in 2010 for Hispanic (36 vs. 32 percent) young adults and lower in 2017 than in 2010 for White (41 vs. 43 percent) and American Indian/Alaska Native (20 vs. 41 percent) young adults. There was no measurable difference between the 2010 and 2017 college enrollment rates for young adults who were Black, Asian, Pacific Islander, and of Two or more races.
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