Enrollment at area community colleges is up this fall, with officials citing the economy as the main reason more students are headed to the classroom.

Minnesota State Community and Technical College has 5,802 students taking classes on the four campuses or on the Internet, a 3.8 percent increase over the 5,590 students enrolled last year at this time, said Carrie Brimhall, dean of enrollment.

The two-year college has campuses in Moorhead, Fergus Falls, Detroit Lakes and Wadena.

Meanwhile, the North Dakota State College of Science in Wahpeton reports 2,525 students, a 4.4 percent increase compared to last year’s first-day enrollment of 2,418 students.

Figures for both campuses are preliminary and will change as students drop or add classes.

Brimhall said officials expected to see enrollment increases as a result of job layoffs in the region.

More students at MSCTC are attending school full time, a reversal of what officials have seen in past years.

“This year we’re seeing more and more students taking more credits because they need to get done quicker and get out into the job market,” Brimhall said.

The Moorhead campus of MSCTC has 3,096 students so far this fall, a 1.3 percent decrease from last year’s enrollment of 3,137 students.

The decrease is because MSCTC had been teaching basic math classes at Minnesota State University Moorhead, but this year MSUM is offering those courses, Brimhall said.