St. Clair College officials say 600 students have withdrawn since the strike by faculty at Ontario’s 24 community colleges ended earlier this month.

Michael Silvaggi, associate vice president of student services and registrar, says the students are hoping to apply for a fresh start in January.

"The college is taking applications from students for January in the same program - or new program depending if a seat is available," says Silvaggi. "Some students have expressed the momentum is not there and the break was too long."

It was a record, five-week layoff while college faculty members were on strike.

Silvaggi admits that number may be higher after next Monday and Tuesday. The deadline for students to withdraw from this semester is Dec. 5.

So far, the refunds total more than $1.1-million.

Silvaggi says generally the numbers aren't out of line of students who normally drop out. More than 10,000 students enrolled at St. Clair College in Windsor and Chatham in September.

He adds they are expecting an increase in enrolment by international students in the new year.

“We're looking at January international numbers exceeding what we ever had in January so that's going to be an offset” says Silvaggi.