NewsPalm Beach CountyRegion C Palm Beach County


College enrollment down, HBCU's increasing recruitment efforts

Posted at 6:18 PM, Oct 16, 2020
and last updated 2020-10-16 18:18:31-04

Teresa Jones is a proud sophomore at Florida Memorial University.

“I’m from Jacksonville, Florida so, I traveled 6 hours to come to this beautiful illustrious HBCU (historically Black college/university),” she said.

However, this wasn’t the year she had envisioned.

“I had a lot on my mind, from the protest to the virus,” Jones said. “So, those two big things going on at once and then I’m traveling from Jacksonville to Miami.”

A new report by the National Student Clearing House Research Center shows freshman enrollment at American colleges and universities dropped more than 16% compared to last year. Overall undergraduate enrollment is down 4%.

“Not only are we dealing with a health pandemic, but we are also dealing with a racial pandemic,” Dr. Jaffus Hardrick said.

Dr. Hardrick is the President of Florida Memorial University, a Historically Black University in Miami. He says enrollment is down 10%.

“It is down, simply because many of our students their parents have been impacted from their jobs, economically,” he said. “Not having the amount of funding to pay for tuition.”

Dellesa Kirk-Johnson is hoping to help.

“Instead of being able to take these students to the university, we are doing virtual meetings and events,” she said.

Crowned Pearls of Wellington an approved interest group of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority Inc. is hosting a virtual HBCU college fair Saturday.

“Education still needs to happen,” she said. “So, what we are doing is being creative. To me the best education I’ve ever had was from an HBCU.”