Dark Cloud of Hurricane Katrina Still Hangs Over Black Colleges in New Orleans

While final enrollment numbers are not in, it is apparent that the two privately operated black colleges in New Orleans are having a difficult time in recruiting students one year after Hurricane Katrina resulted in the flooding of the city. At Xavier University, the number of students from outside of New Orleans who have put down deposits for this fall’s entering class is 293. In 2005 there were 1,240 students from outside of New Orleans who enrolled before Hurricane Katrina hit the city.

At Dillard University, enrollments are expected to be down 55 percent from a year ago. When final numbers are in, fall enrollment at Dillard is expected to be about 1,000. Dillard officials believe it will take from three to five years to build enrollments back to pre-Katrina levels.