Prospective and current students now can call Kenai Peninsula College toll free.
Long-distance callers statewide and from Outside can access the new number, 1-877-262-0330, which went into service April 12.
The toll-free number can only be called from long distance, outside the Kenai-Soldotna service area. Local callers must use 262-0330.
Administrators hope the free number will aid in efforts to recruit students from outside the local calling area by removing the financial barrier of paying for a long-distance call.
"The last thing you want (prospective students) to do is not call because they might incur a long-distance charge," said Suzie Kendrick, community relations director for KPC.
When potential students call the new number, administrators will have a record of where they're calling from, which will tell recruiters where to concentrate.
"It'll help in our marketing effort," said Kendrick.
The number also serves current students calling from outside the Kenai-Soldotna service area, including students of the Kachemak Bay Campus of Kenai Peninsula College in Homer.
Although the Homer campus offers a number of on-site services, students must go through the main campus in Soldotna for others, such as admissions and financial aid. Homer students will be able to use the new number to conduct whatever business they may have with the main campus free of charge.
Charges to the new toll-free number will be paid for with funds previously reserved for an old toll-free number.
An 800 number students could call to register for classes was recently eliminated in favor of Web-based registration.
Funds that were dedicated to pay for the toll-free registration number have been rededicated to the toll-free general number, according to Marci Zimmerman, director of administrative services.
Administrators have wanted to offer a toll-free general number for some time, but ran into "funding issues." The ability to transfer existing funds and not have to come up with additional money made the toll-free line possible.
"We're really excited about it," said Zimmerman.
"I think it's a real increase in service."
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