NEW ORLEANS (AP) — After six years of post-Katrina growth, Delgado Community College reported an 11.4 percent drop in the number of full-time students who registered for the fall semester.

Even with this decline from its all-time-high total of 20,452 students last fall, Delgado remains the most populous local institution of higher education, with 18,115 students at eight locations around the New Orleans area.

Delgado spokesman Tony Cook tells The Times-Picayune that at least some of Delgado's decline is the result of a policy change.

For the first time, about 800 people in the college's apprentice programs were removed from the list of full-time students. Because these programs offer no academic credit, Cook says transferring them made more sense.