WORCESTER, Mass. (AP) – Enrollments at public colleges and universities in Massachusetts are rising at a time when those schools may be forced to trim their budgets.

The Board of Higher Education says 7,172 additional undergraduate students are enrolled for the fall 2008 semester at state and community colleges and the University of Massachusetts. The 15 community colleges have seen the biggest increase, with 4,479 more students than in the previous year.

But college administrators have already been warned that their budgets could be reduced because of the state’s worsening fiscal picture.

Quinsigamond Community College President Gail Carberry told the Telegram & Gazette of Worcester that the school has taken on an additional 1,200 students over the past two years, and further spending cuts would be difficult to absorb.

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