More than 7% YOY surge caps second straight year of record-breaking enrollments
BALTIMORE — Morgan State University continues its breakthrough growth with a second straight year of historic enrollment. For the Fall 2022 semester, Maryland’s largest Historically Black College or University (HBCU) recorded an all-time high in enrollment with over 9,100 students. The increase represents growth of 7.5% over Morgan’s total student enrollment for the 2021-22 academic year and puts the university on an accelerated course to meet its goal of enrolling 10,000 students well ahead of schedule.
“This is truly an unprecedented achievement that our entire university community can fully embrace. A component of the first goal in our strategic plan is to increase enrollment, and through the collective work of our dedicated staff, we have been able to position Morgan as a preferred destination, attracting students from across the Mid-Atlantic, U.S. and around the globe,” said David K Wilson, President of Morgan State University. “Years of consecutive record enrollments is a defining moment that reflects our robust, high-demand academic programs and our accomplished faculty that prepare our graduates to compete on any stage, anywhere in the world. More than 9,100 promising young minds have chosen to experience the magic of a Morgan education and enroll in National Treasure!”
In 2022, the university introduced a new one 10-year strategic plan. As part of the plan’s first goal of improving student success and well-being, a goal was set to increase enrollment to 10,000 students by fall 2030. The past two years have seen Morgan achieve that goal sooner than expected.
University officials point to an important element of the increase in enrollment: a significant increase in transfer and out-of-state students choosing Morgan to pursue their post-secondary education. Of the new students enrolled at Morgan for the current school year, 56% are from outside of Maryland – the largest out-of-state student population in school history.
“Our admissions and recruitment team have done an amazing job over the last two admissions cycles (Fall 2021 and Fall 2022) and all the indicators we’ve seen, increasing our presence at in-person and virtual recruitment events, unusually high applications and significantly more student enrollments indicated the achievement of this record enrollment,” said Kara M. Turner, Ph.D., vice president for Matriculation management and academic success at Morgan. “Morgan’s increased visibility has been key in strengthening the university’s brand, which has brought literally tens of thousands of prospective students to our doorstep. The university’s decision to make standardized tests optional, to streamline the application process, and to offer more benefits and need-based financial support was also appealing to our students.”
Find success against the odds
According to the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES), enrollment at four-year colleges and universities was forecast to continue its recent decline, falling another 1.6% year-on-year in the fall of 2022. Morgan, on the other hand, has emerged as an outlier, cementing successive gains at enrollment in addition to a retention rate of 70% or higher for 12 consecutive years. Morgan attributes the steady gains to a variety of factors, including a mix of operating strategies coupled with the much-welcomed — but unexpected — underlying surge in interest in HBCUs that continues to sweep the nation. The university took a multi-faceted approach, utilizing the resources of multiple administrative units. Morgan’s Office of Undergraduate Admission and Recruitment expanded its reach by engaging more prospective students through increased direct marketing and recruitment activities – in person, online and in more markets. The Office of Financial Aid has partnered with the Office of Development and the Morgan State University Foundation to support incoming freshmen by streamlining financial aid through competitive aid packages and wise allocation of institutional aid.
Other factors that benefited Morgan and several other HBCUs included the pervasive social and cultural awakening sparked by the killing of George Floyd, the strengthening of the Black Lives Matter movement, and public actions by organizations and donors to address systemic inequalities address between the generations. As a result, black students across the country seeking post-secondary options subsequently applied to college at institutions such as Morgan.
fulfillment of demand
Meeting the needs of a growing student population has impacted almost every aspect of running a university. Morgan has proactively made significant capital investments in facilities, including the construction of new academic buildings (Building for health and human services, science complex) and aggressively addressing deferred maintenance of infrastructure and legacy buildings on campus.
This fall, coinciding with this year’s historic enrollment, Morgan opened a new 10-story, 229,797-square-foot, state-of-the-art residential and learning facility, Thurgood Marshall Residence Hall, the first new residential development on Morgan’s campus in more than 30 years . Following recent approval by Morgan’s Board of Regents, the university will construct a second new residence, a 604-bed facility adjacent to the Thurgood Marshall residence complex and connected to the 30,000-square-foot ground-level dining facility. The new residential complex is scheduled to open in 2024.
Founded in 1867, Morgan State University is Carnegie ranked high research (R2) Institution with more than 140 courses leading to degrees from bachelor’s to doctorate. As Maryland Outstanding public urban research universityand the only university that has its entire campus designated as a national treasure of the National Trust for Historic Preservation, Morgan serves a multi-ethnic and multiracial student body and seeks to ensure that the doors of higher education are kept as open as possible to as many as possible. For more information about Morgan State University, visit www.morgan.edu.
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