Associated Press

AUSTIN, Texas (AP) Community college enrollment in Texas surged 12.2 percent from 2008 to 2009, a trend officials expect to continue even as educators worry whether funding levels during a state budget crunch can support the growth.

Citing the most recent state-certified statistics, the Austin American-Statesman reported Thursday that the enrollment increase at two-year schools was nearly three times the growth at four-year institutions. Community and technical colleges had 692,845 students compared to 532,226 at public universities, which saw an increase of 4.5 percent.

Graduation and retention rates were markedly lower at two-year schools, where nearly half the students were not ready for college-level work in one or more areas.

State budget problems could mean significant cuts and higher tuition rates for community colleges, where rates are considerably lower than four-year schools.

Information from: Austin American-Statesman,

Copyright 2010 The Associated Press.