Updated at 5:01 p.m. Thursday with the correct amount Barstow Community College spent to print 8,000 class schedules last summer.

BARSTOW In an effort to save money, Barstow Community College will no longer be printing or mailing class schedules to local residents.

Rather than print a schedule of classes, college officials encouraged new and existing students and residents to visit its Web site to register for courses this spring.

The college's student center was busy on the first day of classes Monday as students received information on financial aid and class registration. Those students were able to view a hard copy of the schedule on campus, but were unable to take one home with them, said college spokesperson Maureen Stokes.

And rather than receive a schedule in the mail, local residents received a postcard pointing them to the college's Web site.

"Everyone who receives a schedule doesn't necessarily pick a class," Stokes said. "The post card was more effective at reminding those people that we are here and here's how you get access to classes."

This decision comes after the college decided to stop mailing schedules to local homes last summer to save money. Before then, the college had been printing 29,000 schedules 25,000 of which were sent to local homes at a cost of roughly $25,018 a year. About 8,000 schedules were produced last summer at a cost of about $4,707.

Schedules were sent to homes three times a year, Stokes said. Not doing so will save the college about $10,022 a year in postage.

In the future, the college may send out something more than a postcard to highlight a few of its programs and remind people to register for classes, Stokes said.

She noted that some community colleges, especially those in large cities, don't mail schedules to homes. Rather than spend money to print and distribute a schedule to each household in its district, Los Angeles City College advertises on the radio and on billboards and buses, Stokes said. Another community college distributed its schedules at the local Walmart.

"We're not in a dense populated area so doing bus (advertisements) wouldn't be as cost-effective as it would for a postcard," she said. "This is really for those individuals who constantly get schedules in the mail. The post card is a reminder that everything's online."

The number of full-time equivalent students attending classes for the spring semester is at 1,362 as of Thursday. Full-time student enrollment at the beginning of last spring was 1,199 students.

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(760) 256-4123 or jcejnar@desertdispatch.com