The Transformation of the University of the District of Columbia

This week, classes started at the new University of the District of Columbia. Now the university is operating as two separate entities: a two-year community college with open admissions and a four-year university with selective admissions and significantly higher tuition. Students who are enrolled full-time at the community college will pay $3,000. District residents at the four-year university will pay $5,370 this year and $7,000 next year.

New students can apply to either the two-year or four-year institution. Students who had already matriculated can choose to attend either section.

This year, more than 800 new students applied to the community college and 1,500 students applied to the four-year college. Last year, there was a total of 2,000 applicants. University officials estimate that total enrollments at the community college will be 3,000 this year. Another 3,500 students are expected to be enrolled at the four-year university.

The new two-institution system is the brainchild of Allen L. Sessoms who was hired as president of the university last fall. A Yale-trained physicist, Dr. Sessoms was president of historically black Delaware State University.