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.”