Community college enrollment is rising across the nation, and the Mid-Ohio Valley is no exception.
Being a new college student, Matthew Barnhart has a lot of decisions to make, but choosing a college isn't one of them.
"Grants and loans cover some of it at a university, but here I was able to get all the financial aid and loans that I could," Barnhart said.
Making Washington State Community College his top choice. And looking at the orientation numbers, he's not the only one taking advantage of a good bargain.
"You couldn't walk through the cafeteria or the lobby. It was packed," Ann Hontz, the dean of enrollment, said.
And WVU at Parkersburg is no different.
"In the last few years, we've enjoyed an increase of about three percent per year," Connie Dziagwa, the school's spokesperson, said.
The cost for an education may be more affordable, but things like staying close to home, are priceless.
"I won't have to relocate and I can stay where I'm at right now," Barnhart said.