Community College Enrollment Down 9/19/12
CBS 7 News
September 19, 2012
Students say finding a home in the Permian Basin has become close to impossible and to some, the lure of a big paycheck can be more appealing than going to school.
Its george floras' first semester away from home in Laredo, after desperately looking for an apartment he says he resorted to a dorm room in Midland College.
“Its a lot different than home, completely different,” he said.
He is one of the lucky ones who found housing. Dorm rooms in Midland, Odessa and Howard College are at full capacity.
George says he is making the most of his dorm-life, for the sake of having a degree in welding.
“Once I'm done getting my degree I can get a better job and it'll pay more money,” George said.
“Its the oil industry, many people out there taking classes are now out there working,” said, Rebecca Bell with Midland College. She says their enrollment is three-percent down from last year.
“People are still coming to class, but they're also working,” Bell said, More of our students are attending part time.”
Its the same story with community colleges across the Permian Basin, but Bell says there is a hard lesson to be learned when students put education on the back burner.
“People lose their jobs all the time in Midland because of the craziness of the oil field industry,” she said.
Although thats not to say that George has at least considered his options.
“Its really tempting,” he said, “But I know I can make more money once I get my degree, so it's just a sacrifice.”
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