PHOENIX (3TV/CBS 5) -- All ten colleges in the Maricopa County Community College District are experiencing a steady decline in enrollment.

According to officials, Mesa Community College's enrollment is down 16%-17%, translating to about 5,000 fewer part-time students and $4.5 million in losses.

"Unfortunately, we are looking at a budget reduction," says Dr. Lori Berquam, interim president at Mesa Community College.

Right now, the district isn't looking at furloughs or layoffs, but Berquam says they will not be hiring anytime soon, and the district is currently looking at ways to cut costs.

Joaquin Valdez, an engineering student at Phoenix College, says he started as a hybrid student meaning some of his classes were online, and others face to face. He dropped his virtual course because he says it felt like there was an endless amount of homework to make up for the lack of hands-on experience.

"I've had a lot of friends, especially some of them graduating now that are saying that they're going to take a break until... it's in person again," Valdez said.

According to Berquam, that could be awhile. There are plans to have more in-person classes available in the Fall, but the district will not yet be at full capacity.

"My hope will be that its short term, and then as our enrollment continues to increase, we will be able to go back to the way and to continue to offer the high level of support and service that we have been offering in the past," says Berquam.

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