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There has been an uptick in Community college enrollment in CA

Community college enrollment in California is up for the first time since the pandemic started. That's according to new data from the Community Colleges Chancellor's Office. CalMatters reporter Adam Echelman has more.

About a year and a half into the pandemic, student enrollment at community colleges had fallen about 20-percent. The biggest decline in decades.

To lure students back, colleges have spent millions of dollars on marketing campaigns; like highway billboards, bus ads, and even a college-themed light show. Schools have also offered free tuition and free parking.

Enrollment still isn't back to pre-pandemic levels, but data from September shows that numbers are up five percent.

Students age 50 and over are returning at a higher rate than any other age group. A trend administrators credit to the return of in-person teaching.

This enrollment uptick is a big deal for the community colleges because enrollment is typically tied to how much funding they get from the state.