That BGSU Firelands has seen an increase in enrollment -- continuing a trend smaller campuses have been seeing for several years -- is both a sign of the times and an direction out of the tough times we face.
Smaller, regional campuses are generally easier on students' wallets than are their big "four-year" (or five- or six-year) brethren, which is the reason usually cited by such campuses for their increasing numbers.
However, what's less readily apparent is that some students, looking for the most immediate benefit from their buck, take the training they need to further themselves in their jobs or to get better jobs. The time when your post-high-school options were few and disparate -- work (maybe with trade school), military or a four-year liberal arts degree -- are long gone.
The options are endless now, from a few hours of technological up-training to the foundations of a four-year degree and every combination in between -- including the increasingly popular programs that let high school students earn college credit in college courses while still in high school.
Another fact is, university campus life comes with lots of trimmings whose costs used to be buried in the bursar's bill -- but cash-strapped students find those costs increasingly difficult to justify when the scholarship or loan is not there to pay for it anymore.
Variety and value will be the hallmarks of education, as with most things that survive as we navigate our way out of these times.