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Delaware State University sees record enrollment numbers


Delaware State News

DOVER — Last week, in his first visit to Delaware State University as president of the United States, Joe Biden declared, “There is no better example of a university that has changed so many lives.” Per Friday’s official release of fall semester 2022 enrollment numbers, the uiversity has the opportunity to change even more.

Consistent with its rise in national rankings among Historically Black Colleges and Universities and regional higher education institutions in the Northeast, Delaware State University has once again shattered multiple enrollment records, including surpassing 6,200 total students for the first time in its 131-year history. The numbers represent a 33% increase since 2017.

The achievement marks the fourth time in the last five years the university has grown its enrollment. The effort is also consistent with the institution’s strategic goal to reach 10,000 students by the end of the decade.

“The best signal of success for any higher education institution is this: more students wanting to enroll, wanting to join our family, wanting to make their mark in a smaller, more interconnected global community,” said University President Tony Allen. “Regardless of what you look like, where you come from, or your financial means, we want a student profile that looks more and more like the country we need to be: inclusive, contemporary, and built for generations to come.”

Dr. Allen noted that the recent success is driven by a university-wide commitment to access and opportunity, including enhancements to the state-funded Inspire Scholarship Program, expansion of its Early College School, and a significant new emphasis on the university’s graduate and online programs.

The expansion of the state-funded Inspire Scholarship provides a four-year, full tuition scholarship to Delaware-graduating high school seniors with a 2.75 GPA and a commitment to public service. Of the nearly 700 first-year in-state students, 67% are INSPIRE scholars. The current first-year class totals more than 1,400, which is also a record.

The Early College School, a university-sponsored chartered school where high school students can earn up to 60 college credits before they are ever admitted into any University, has also proven to be a key driver. This fall, seventh and eighth grades were added and the school now boasts a total enrollment of nearly 600 students, 67% of whom ultimately chose the university over the last five years.

Graduate and online enrollment also saw significant year-over-year increases, at 5.7% and 56.8%, respectively. Tony Boyle, Senior Vice President of Strategic Enrollment Management and Student Affairs and the university’s chief architect of the growth plan, added, “Today is a total team effort throughout every corner of the university and is reflective of a total embrace of the Strategic Plan. And we all know we have more work to do.”

According to the latest U.S. News & World Report’s HBCU rankings, Delaware State University recently rose to No. 8 among all Historically Black Colleges and Universities and also became the No. 2 Public HBCU in the country.

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