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Despite declining national trends, Morgan State reaches record enrollment

Posted at 5:02 PM, Oct 24, 2022
and last updated 2022-10-24 17:02:21-04

BALTIMORE — Maryland’s largest Historically Black College and University (HBCU) reached a major milestone this fall despite the national trend among colleges and universities.

It’s a bustling campus with plenty to offer and the numbers to back it up.

A new report from the National Student Clearinghouse showed undergrad enrollment numbers on the decline by more than one percent this fall and a total 2-year decline by 3.2 percent.

“We’re one of the few institutions who are actually seeing an increase. A number of HBCUs are seeing some increase, so we are very excited to be on the positive end of that enrollment trend,” Kara Turner, Morgan State’s Vice President of Enrollment management and Student Success told WMAR-2 News.

Morgan State surpassed 9,100 students representing a 7.5 percent increase to the university’s total student count.

RELATED: MSU bucks national trend in enrollment

HBCU undergraduate enrollment grew by 2.5 percent this fall, fueled by a 6.6 increase in freshmen like Abdelgalil Abdelgalil.

“I’m happy to be here to be honest. It’s so fun you meet genuine people, and everything’s so fun here, but you still have to get done with that work,” the freshman shared.

“I just wanted to expand my horizons coming to an HBCU and be around people that I relate to more,” said Alexis Lighten, a transfer student from Boston.

Supporting the growing student body did pose some challenges regarding staffing for classes as well as housing for students; but, they’re making space.

“We did open the new residence hall this fall. We are breaking ground on another residence hall that should be open in fall 24. Working with our local apartment complexes and hotels to be able to house students,” Turner said.

Morgan State’s VP of Enrollment Management and Student Success says though enrollment numbers are seeing a spike, tuition on the other hand has held steady with an in-state tuition of about $8,000, about $1,000 below the national average.

“We held our tuition the same, quite a number of years now. So we are very focused. We know a number of our students come from backgrounds where it really is a challenge and of course with the rising costs of so many things it’s a challenge for everybody. So we are very cognizant of the rates we charge and we also provide quite competitive financial aid packages for students,” said Turner.

As the profiles of HBCUs continue to grow, Morgan students say they’re excited about the impact on their campus.

“I feel like it’s definitely going to get bigger and I see we’re building a lot more stuff here so I think it’s just going to keep growing,” said Lighten.

University officials say they’re well on track to reach their goal of 10,000 students enrolled by 2030.