Enrollment at Howard Community College has grown by more than 4.6% from last fall. The increase is two percent higher than the full-time equivalent statewide average and establishes the college’s final headcount numbers as the school’s highest figure since 2020.

According to final statistics reported to the U.S. Department of Education, more than 39% of the growth is attributed to student retention in the college’s dual enrollment program with the Howard County Public School System. The number complements a 14% increase in international student enrollment and a 7% increase among Howard County residents.

Enrollment management executives also attribute the leap to increased financial support for students and an emphasis on wraparound support services.

“We took a proactive approach to leveraging our institutional aid to support enrollment,” said Tamika Bybee, interim associate vice president of enrollment services. “We were able this year to assist students who expressed interest in returning to HCC, but needed help with an institutional balance, thanks in great part to investments from state and county officials and our philanthropic partners. This outreach, in addition to direct communications with part-time students to build awareness about funding options, helped us to convert and retain more students in full-time status.”

HCC was recently named among the nation’s top two-year colleges by Niche, an online college selection and data resource for families. It ranked no. 92 among all two-year institutions and the top community college in the Baltimore metropolitan area.

The citation by Niche is the second top-ranking announcement for HCC in recent weeks, as the college was also named among the nation’s best schools for international students by Study International; and one of the nation’s best two-year colleges by Wallet Hub.

HCC enrolls more than 20,000 credit and non-credited students of all ages from more than 104 countries and yields more than $343 million in economic impact as one of Howard County’s largest employers.