HBCU Enrollment Dropped to 17-Year Low in 2018, Time to Stop Hating on Paul Quinn, and Examining the HBCU Public Relations Narrative


Total HBCU Enrollment Falls to Record Low in 2018

Just one year after posting the first cumulative increase for the historically black college and university sector since 2011, HBCU enrollment nationwide fell by more than 6,000 students in the 2018-19 academic year.

According to federal data, HBCU enrollment fell to 291,767 students last year, down from its 298,134 figure of 2017-18 - a number that is the second-lowest enrollment total for HBCUs since enrolling 289,985 students in 2001.

Black student enrollment at HBCUs fell to 223,163 students, a decline of more than 3,600 students between the 100 federally-recognized HBCUs nationwide from the previous year.

After reaching a record-breaking 326,614 students in 2010, HBCU enrollment dropped for six consecutive years beginning in 2011, reaching a 15-year low of 292,082 students in 2016.

Attrition numbers slowed annually beginning in 2014, as decreases dwindled to just over 1,000 students per year after losing an average of 9,000 students from the nation’s two-year and four-year black college campuses between 2012 and 2014.

Total HBCU Enrollment
2012 – 312,438
2013 – 303,167
2014 – 294,316
2015 – 293,388
2016 – 292,083
2017 – 298,138
2018 - 291,767

While enrollment numbers decreased, charitable giving and grantmaking to historically black colleges and universities increased for the fifth consecutive year and skyrocketed to nearly $479 million surpassing the 2017 total of $338 million.

It is the highest amount of non-public funding coming to the sector since grossing $351.5 million in 2012.

Private Gifts & Grants to HBCUs
2012 – $351.5 million
2013 – $304.7 million
2014 – $265.2 million
2015 – $316.8 million
2016 – $320.5 million
2017 – $338.6 million
2018 - $478.9 million


Paul Quinn, Dallas Mavericks Unveil New Community Basketball Court

Paul Quinn College and officials from the NBA’s Dallas Mavericks franchise yesterday unveiled a new outdoor basketball court that both sides hope will foster an increased sense of community in the South DFW region.

The court is the latest partnership between the 2011 HBCU of the Year and the Mavericks, which five years ago worked with Mavericks owner Mark Cuban to adjust its curriculum and price structure to become the nation’s first historically black urban work college.

PQC continues an impressive streak of building partnerships, raising money and breaking HBCU stereotypes which largely go unnoticed or mocked within the HBCU community because of its small size.

Most of the HBCU sector is dealing with the painful realities of a shrinking number of black students attending non-HBCUs, and policymaking designed to marginalize HBCUs despite their best intentions and good works. Paul Quinn is not immune from those challenges but isn’t being killed by them either.

We accept the dominance of schools like Morehouse College and Spelman College because of their elite traditions and graduates. We cheer for every big win for Howard University, North Carolina A&T State University, Florida A&M University, Southern University because they are our largest and most productive campuses.

But there’s something to be said about a school that lost its accreditation, was 30 days out from closing its doors and had virtually every brand disadvantage ever considered in the higher education context that today, is growing and redefining its own narrative.

There’s something to be said about thriving, and just how few of our institutions beyond Paul Quinn aren’t even close to doing just that.


Interview: Public Relations CEO NaAsiaha Simon

I spoke with the Wilberforce University graduate about messaging and PR strategy for HBCUs in a 24-hour news cycle. CLICK TO LISTEN


Jackson State, Tougaloo Food Pantries Receive $30,000 Donation from Kroger

Grocery giant Kroger has donated $30,000 to be divided among Jackon State University and Tougaloo College’s efforts to stem food insecurity on campus.

Recent studies suggest that more than 39 percent of college students have reported at least one incident of not having enough food to eat in the last month, according to WLBT.

“This is an alarming statistic and Mississippi is one of the most food-insecure states in the nation,” said Teresa Dickerson, manager of corporate affairs for Kroger’s Delta Division. “We are honored to support our HBCUs and the work they are doing to alleviate hunger through campus food pantries.