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College getting more crowded

More people are taking college courses this fall.

Enrollment is up at area campuses — Modesto Junior College and Columbia College are seeing small increases in students while Stanislaus State and UC Merced are expanding by leaps and bounds.

California State University, Stanislaus, has 462 more students this fall than last — setting a record for most freshmen (988) and total student enrollment (8,836).

In its third year, the University of California at Merced enrolled 585 more students than last fall, bringing its total to 1,871.

MJC enrollment rose 2.3 percent to 18,934 and Columbia 3.8 percent to 3,311 students this fall.

Officials attributed area college student population growth to increased recruiting efforts at high schools, a tighter job market, and a larger push to build up student bodies.