Enrollment Declines Could Produce Budget Shortfalls at HBCUs in Mississippi

This fall, enrollments at the eight state-operated universities in Mississippi are up 4.1 percent from a year ago. The eight universities now enroll a record 76,736 students. The rising enrollments produce greater tuition revenues, which will help these universities deal with shrinking appropriations from the state government.

However, two of the eight universities in the system saw a decline in enrollments. And both universities that experienced a drop in attending students are historically black institutions.

Jackson State University has 1.1 percent fewer students than a year ago. At Mississippi Valley State University, enrollments are off significantly. In 2009, there were 2,850 students on campus. This fall, there are 2,491, a drop of 12.6 percent. The university had forecast no change in enrollments. Therefore, the drop-off in tuition revenue will, in all likelihood, produce a further budgetary shortfall.