CONWAY S.C. (WBTW) — Horry-Georgetown Technical College experienced record-breaking enrollment this school year — the highest ever in the college’s history, according to the school.

President Marilyn Fore said last year there were about 6,400 enrolled. This year that number has grown to roughly 8,200.

Fore said there are several factors that played a role in the increase in enrollment, including its accessibility to students with its three campuses, its degree programs and its tuition.

“We have the lowest tuition in the state,” Fore said. “So we’ve made accessible and available tuition for students so that that doesn’t create a barrier as much as high cost of tuition can be for students.”

Fore said she’s seen a spike in students enrolling in business programs, including accounting, basic business, and marketing.

“That program has almost doubled in size, where there are 900 students in that cluster of programs,” Fore said. “We have a spike in our health care programs, and we have a spike in welding, so what an assortment of programs because the jobs are available.”

College officials said this was also the largest one-year increase in new students since the 60s; coming in at nearly 4,700 new students. A 35% increase over last year.

“I’m real proud that the community is supporting us,” Fore said. “I’m proud that the students want to come here for their training and continuing their education and I’m proud of the faculty and staff with the culture that they have created here to welcome our students.”

Fore also said their free tuition through December of this year also played a role in the increase in enrollment.

Florence-Darlington Technical College officials said their enrollment was up nearly 6% compared to last year, coming in at just under 3,000 students enrolled.

Fore also said they’re always looking for ways to grow. She said currently they are opening up their new diesel engine technician facility on Allied Drive in Conway which allowed them to double enrolment. They are also looking at ways to expand the number of students they take in the nursing program.

“The old gymnasium on the Grand Strand Campus, that building is going to be renovated so that we can expand all of our health care programs notably, like X-ray tech, nursing, EMT,” Fore said. “We need more space.”

Fore said they’re also expanding their program offerings over the next couple of years. She’s said they’re looking at adding an automotive program, more health care programs, and a human resource management program.