Tuesday, April 11, 2017

FAMU finishes FYE 2016 with 11,178 students

FAMU’s enrollment fell for the fifth consecutive fiscal year in 2016. The university’s 12-month unduplicated headcount for July 1, 2015 through June 30, 2016 was 11,178. That was a decline of 312 students from the previous fiscal year, when the total enrollment was 11,490.

FAMU’s enrollment increased between the fiscal years that ended in 2009 and 2011. But FAMU and many other historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs) were hurt by stricter eligibility requirements for the federal PLUS Loan program that went into effect in October of 2011 and Pell Grant changes that began that same year. Those changes resulted in thousands of low-income HBCU students being denied this critical source of financial aid and either having to withdraw from school or delay their entry into college.

The federal financial aid program overhaul led FAMU to lose about 2,000 students from 2011 to 2013. Declining state support and rising fees made the situation even worse for many potential FAMU students.

FAMU fell below a 12,000-student unduplicated headcount while former President Elmira Mangum was in office. She defended the enrollment decline by telling the FAMU Board of Trustees that “Quantity does have to be sacrificed in order to get quality.”

But the enrollment trends at North Carolina A&T University, North Carolina Central University, and Jackson State University showed that Mangum’s claim isn’t true. All three succeeded in growing their enrollments and raising their average freshman GPAs at the same time. Those three universities had enrollment bumps with freshman classes that had 3.0+ average GPAs in 2015-2016.

Last year, Interim President Larry Robinson told the BOT that recruitment would be a top priority for his administration. The renewed focus on bringing new students to FAMU is already getting results. Earlier this month, the Tallahassee Democrat reported that FAMU has a “30-plus percent increase in admitted freshmen for the fall of 2017 and 18 percent increase over last year's fall freshmen applications.”

No comments: