Jackson, Miss. Enrollment has fallen at Mississippi's 15 community colleges for the third straight year.
Preliminary figures reported by the Community College Board shows that the number of students this fall dropped 4.3 percent to 77,661. That means enrollment at the state's two-year schools has now dipped back below that of the eight public universities.
College enrollment usually tracks against the economy, rising when the job market is bad and falling when it's better. Mississippi officials also say they believe restrictions on federal student aid are cutting into enrollment.
After seeing a 10 percent decrease in students last fall, Jones County Junior College was the only school to see enrollment climb, rising 6 percent to 4,663 students.
Enrollment at Coahoma Community College fell 11 percent, the largest percentage drop in the state.