The Long Shadow of Hurricane Katrina Continues to Haunt Black Colleges in New Orleans

Hurricane Katrina devastated the campuses of the historically black Dillard, Xavier, and Southern universities last August. The three schools were forced to close for a semester and reopened in January in temporary facilities.

But the effects of Hurricane Katrina will be felt for years to come.

One of the major difficulties that these three universities now face is in recruiting students to enroll. At Xavier University, the number of applicants this spring was one half the number from a year ago. Dillard is not releasing numbers at this point but a spokesperson told USA Today that numbers are down and that the university expects a smaller entering class than in the past.

Hurricane Katrina's aftermath at Dillard University;
Los Angeles Times
photo by Rick Loomis