With an unstable economy and troops back from overseas, more people are taking advantage of Central Texas College’s low tuition rates to improve their employment status or change careers.

“We’re hoping that this trend continues,” said Bruce Vasbinder, spokesman for Central Texas College. “Not necessarily on the economy side, but our enrollment numbers.”

With a 3.6 percent increase in enrollment numbers from fall 2010 to fall 2011, the local community college was ranked among the fastest-growing public two-year schools in the nation by Community College Week.

The biweekly magazine’s study, released last week, ranked CTC 39th in its category of schools with an enrollment of more than 10,000.

The local community college’s enrollment increased from 26,055 in fall 2010 to 26,995 in fall 2011, according to the data used.

“We are definitely pleased. We’ve seen some very big numbers as far as our enrollment goes each semester,” Vasbinder said. “We certainly want it to go up.”

The survey results are based exclusively on students enrolled in courses that lead to a postsecondary degree or other formal award, according to a news release.

In addition to one of the lowest tuition rates in the state,

Vasbinder said soldiers who may transfer to another installation are taking advantage of the school’s 150 locations worldwide and online.

“We have a presence at all military installations in the U.S.,” he said. “They can start with us and they can finish with us.”

The school also has articulation agreements with all four-year universities in Texas, which means credits are guaranteed to transfer toward a higher degree after obtaining an associate degree.

Contact Sarah Rafique at srafique@kdhnews.com or (254) 501-7549. Follow her on Twitter at KDHreporter.

I'm the education reporter at the Killeen Daily Herald. Follow me on Twitter at https://twitter.com/SarahRafique

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