Enrollment Declines at Some Black Colleges

Overall enrollments at the nation’s historically black colleges and universities have increased in recent years. But an analysis of Department of Education data by the Associated Press finds that there have been declines in enrollments at 26 of the 87 black colleges surveyed. The largest decline was at Talladega College where enrollments were down 54 percent from 1995 to 2004. Fisk University and Tuskegee University, two of the most prestigious black colleges, also had drops in enrollments. The study found that in 1976, 18.4 percent of all African-American students were enrolled at a historically black college. In 2001 that figure had dropped to 12.9 percent.

Clearly, increased competition for black students from predominantly white colleges has hurt enrollments at some black colleges. More attractive financial aid awards at the predominantly white colleges and universities, compared to those available at the often financially strapped historically black institutions, undoubtedly is another factor in the declining enrollments at these institutions.