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JCC hopeful vaccine, tuition stay will help return of athletics

Rollout of the COVID-19 vaccine combined with a tuition stay for the coming school year have Jamestown Community College President Dr. Daniel DeMarte optimistic about the future of Jayhawks athletics.

JCC announced last week that yearly tuition rates for the 2021-22 school year will remain at $5,200 for New York state students and $10,400 for out-of-state students.

College administrators are hopeful that the decision will help JCC regain its positive growth in admissions that was lost due to the pandemic, in addition to incentivizing athletic recruits.

“We are one of three (schools) in the system, and all of us in Western New York, that committed to a season, even though it is scaled back drastically,” DeMarte said. “In this message in holding tuition flat this coming year, we knew going into this that two key subsets are our residence hall students and our athletes. So our coaches, who are also recruiters, are out there with the message about keeping tuition flat and generating that interest in recruitment for those students who missed out on this last year who still want to come in the fall. The interest is strong. It is looking like we are going to get back on track with a full roster on soccer, for example, going into this fall.”

Recent conversations regarding the fate of certain National Junior College Athletic Association spring sports have been optimistic, despite a spike in COVID-19 cases.

“The conversation has begun to shift with some optimism towards the spring sports,” DeMarte said. “I’m hearing among my peers that they are planning for a full spring season with baseball and softball and golf. That optimism is new. I have not seen that around athletics since last March. That is a hopeful sign. It is very helpful that we have made this (tuition) decision and our coaches are out there recruiting. On teams like soccer, most of the makeup, or at least 50 % of it, are international students. That is going to continue to ramp up.”

DeMarte said that a main goal of helping the college regain its pre-COVID momentum is to have full athletic rosters for the fall of 2021, should conditions permit safe play.

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