Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, many colleges and universities are struggling to maintain enrollments at levels that existed a year or two ago. But Elizabeth City State University, a historically Black educational institution in North Carolina is bucking the trend.
The university reports that total enrollment this fall is 2,002 students, a 13.2 percent increase over fall 2019. This is the highest fall enrollment at the university since 2014. Programs that have seen significant enrollment increases of at least 25 percent enrollment include aviation science, digital media arts, graphic design, and the newest online degree programs in homeland security and the master’s degree program in elementary education.
The university states that the recruitment of a freshman class with a strong academic profile and the recruitment of graduate and transfer students are major factors accounting for the enrollment increase. Transfer student enrollment has seen a big increase with 202 students enrolling, a 27.8 percent increase over 2019. Graduate student enrollment experienced a 19.5 percent increase over fall 2019. Another factor is that the university’s retention rate has increased since 2019. At 75.6 percent, the retention rate is the highest since 2012, growing by 5 percent over 2019.
This is also the third fall semester to offer the North Carolina Promise Tuition program, offering in-state and out-of-state students affordable tuition.
“ECSU is the most affordable public institution in North Carolina, offering a quality education at an affordable price,” Chancellor Karrie G. Dixon said. “Despite these unprecedented times, and the challenges we face during the COVID-19 pandemic, ECSU is strong. I am excited to see the growing enthusiasm for this university, and I am grateful for the hard work of our faculty and staff.”