VC sees enrollment increase, adopts tax rate

Carolina Astrain By Carolina Astrain

Sept. 9, 2013 at 4:09 a.m.

Preliminary enrollment numbers show a slight student increase for Victoria College this fall, said Patricia Vandervoort, VC vice president of instruction.

Vandervoort reported a 0.3 percent increase in total enrollment for 2013, compared to last year, at a regular board of trustees meeting Monday.

"Right now the labor market is so strong and we know that people have lots of other opportunities," said Tom Butler, VC president. "We're glad to see we've been able to hold our own on enrollment overall and that we did not see a decrease in enrollment as other colleges have seen in these really good economic times."

Wednesday is the college's official reporting date for its state-reported, enrollment numbers.

As of Monday, the college reported 82 more Hispanic students and 13 more black students.

"The community colleges have really stepped up to educate everyone in the state, but there's always been a focus as we knew the Hispanic population was increasing, to improve their college-going rights," Butler said. "Victoria College is doing its part."

For the past several years, VC has been recognized by the U.S. Department of Education as a Hispanic-Serving Institution.

"We're very proud of that," Butler said. "That allows us to receive some grants from the federal government and other places and that allows us to provide additional support to all of our students, not just our Hispanic students."

VC has also seen an unusual rise in more men students than women students this fall, Vandervoort said.

Men students' numbers rose by 35 and women's numbers fell by 20 compared to last fall.

"I honestly can't say why we have that increase," Butler said. "But we are happy to see that."

In other business, trustees adopted an increased tax rate, which was raised by 2-cents.

The increase is expected to help the college pay off the bonded debt for the construction of its new Emerging Technology Center.

The new tax rate is 18.23 cents per $100 of assessed valuation.

Under the new rate, the owner of a $100,000 home will see an increase of almost $22 a year on his or her tax bill.



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