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Richard Bland Enrollment Up 54% In Five Years, Bucking Trend In Higher Education

President Debbie Sydow Greets Students at Richard Bland College Courtesy: Richard Bland College
Photo: President Debbie Sydow Greets Students at Richard Bland College Courtesy: Richard Bland College

It is the highest all-time record growth for Richard Bland, which is a two-year branch of the College of William & Mary.

“The bulk of that population has been dual enrollment students.” President Debbie Sydow, “Those are students who are enrolled in area high schools who are receiving college credit and high school credit.” She says it’s part of the college’s plan to provide a cost-effective package geared towards transfer after graduation to William and Mary or any one of the 40 partner schools. “And so students can start here and then complete the high demand degrees and frankly save a lot of money.” 

“I knew that I had wanted to go to William and Mary, I feel like this is a good track in order to get me there.” Darleen Ziege is a second-year student says the lower cost made it work for her, and she enjoys living on campus, something unique among two-year colleges. “My favorite thing about Richard Bland is the sense of community we get, especially within the resident’s halls, people on our own floor. I have never felt closer to a group of people that I met in such a short time period.”

The State Council of Higher Education says enrollment growth for four year public schools is up three percent, four-year private down two percent and Virginia Community Colleges down 12 percent. Richard Bland is up 54%.

“I think Richard Bland has always been perceived as the Commonwealth’s best-kept secret, when it comes to higher education. But I think what’s happening now and I hope what’s happening now is that the word is getting out, to offer the high-quality education that we deliver, along with affordability which has been a hallmark of Richard Bland College, really since its inception.”

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