Despite the damage caused by Hurricane Harvey within the Lone Star College System, enrollment is up 4 percent this semester, LSCS Chancellor Steve Head said.

“Our priority was to keep the students in school and make sure that they come back,” Head said.

Although all campuses sustained some minor damage due to Harvey—such as roof leaks—LSC-Kingwood’s campus was hit hardest, taking on water in six buildings, two parking structures and three sports field areas, LSC-Kingwood President Katherine Persson said.

In an effort to keep students enrolled at the Kingwood location, students have been encouraged to take courses online instead of in-person, Persson said. As of Sept. 13, LSC-Kingwood had 12,860 students enrolled—an increase of 5 percent. Since Harvey, online enrollment at the Kingwood campus has shifted from 22 to 61 percent with in-person enrollment shifting from 72 to 21 percent, Persson said.

It could take more than 12 months for LSC-Kingwood to become fully operational again, and the cost of systemwide damage is estimated at $25 million-$30 million, LSCS Chief Financial Officer Jennifer Olenick said.

As officials continue to monitor the damage, the board is preparing to set the system’s fiscal year 2017-18 tax rate on Oct. 12 at 5 p.m.