Freshman Enrollment Surges at Several HBCUs

While North Carolina A&T State University has broken its own enrollment mark as the nation’s largest historically black college or university, several HBCUs are posting record enrollment for first-year students and total headcount.
Kentucky State University this week reported a first-year student increase of more than 160 percent from its confirmed student post of 194 students at the beginning of the summer. Officials attributed the spike of more than 300 additional enrollees to a dedicated enrollment management unit and the appeal of university’s access and affordability.
“Kentucky State University continues to provide access to a quality education and is an affordable choice,” KSU President M. Christopher Brown II said all while understanding that students still encounter financial challenges when it comes to investing in their futures.
The enrollment growth is a major step towards KSU’s goal to increase total attendance to 3,000 students by 2020.
At Virginia State University, officials reported a 50 percent spike in the number of first-year students, and with more than 1,100 total freshman is the largest overall freshman class in the last three years.
“Since the start of my presidency, I implemented several key areas that focus on providing a transformative experience for our students,” said VSU President Makola Abdullah. “During these past two years, that experience and excitement has been seen by numerous people from coast to coast and through our accolades of achievements and through the various media platforms in particular social media that Virginia State University is a place to thrive and succeed.”
Elizabeth City State University also broke a five-year negative enrollment trend this fall, with an incoming freshman class and transfer students lifting the university’s total enrollment above 1,400 students.
“While I must make it absolutely clear to everyone involved that one uptick in fall enrollment can’t be interpreted as a trend, we will take a moment to celebrate this accomplishment because it is the first time in seven years that ECSU has seen an overall increase in enrollment,” said ECSU Chancellor Thomas Conway.
Central State University, the 2017 HBCU of the Year has also made sizable increases in enrollment, reporting a 13 percent increase in international student enrollment which includes a 300 percent increase in the number of Bahamian students.
Alcorn State University officials today announced a 38 percent increase in admitted freshmen, with 740 students breaking the institutional mark set in fall 2016. The class of 2021 sets the university’s total student mark at 3,952 students, its highest mark since surpassing 4,000 students in 2012.
“Because of the number of tools and opportunities made available to our students, high school students everywhere are beginning to recognize the value and quality education available at Alcorn State University,” said Alcorn State President Alfred Rankins. “It’s good to see so many fresh faces on campus, and we hope that they matriculate at Alcorn within four years.”