Can you imagine an historic black college with as many non-black students as African-Americans? Thanks to a barrage of recent financial problems, that perplexing thought is not out the realm of possibility. Southern University, a prominent black university in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, saw its fall enrollment drop below 7,000 students this season, a decrease of roughly 5 percent from last year.
Conversely, area public colleges Louisiana State (LSU), UL-Lafayette and Southeastern enjoyed modest enrollment gains. Unfortunately, Southern isn’t alone.
Other Historically Black Colleges and Universities are suffering a similar decline. Now the million dollar question: Why the rapid decline in enrollment?
Are blacks turned off by HBCUs?
Are admission standards too strict?
Does the economy play a factor?
Are junior colleges viewed as being a more viable financial option?
Chancellor James Llorens points the finger of blame at a new registration process and financial aid policy that delays cash disbursements; preventing students from satisfying their debts.
“We lost some students just out of frustration,” said Llorens, who vowed the school will make every attempt to bring the students back to the university.
Keep in mind; tuition at HBCUs cost an average of $10,000 less per year than their predominant white counterparts.