Several historically Black colleges and universities are having financial difficulties due to declining enrollments and/or cuts in state appropriations. Many of the most prestigious Black colleges and those with the largest endowments so far have avoided the financial problems that have befallen many of their peer institutions.
But now Morehouse College, the highly rated HBCUs in Atlanta, is also facing financial pressures. This fall, enrollments are down by 125 students from what the college had projected. As a result, the college is requiring employees to take up to five unpaid furlough days throughout the year. Other budget cuts will also be made and the college stated that it would hire fewer part-time faculty for the spring semester.
College officials said that one factor producing the drop in enrollments was tougher standards for qualifying for the Parent Loan for Undergraduate Students program. Morehouse said that normally 8 percent of students who place a deposit to reserve a space in the entering class decide not to enroll. This year the rate increased to 16 percent, due in part to the fact that more accepted students were unable to secure loans.