Rutgers GSE CMSI

Two HBCUs Join CMSI Sponsored Study on HBCU Enrollment Resurgence

Philadelphia, PA., December 14, 2018 – Two HBCUs, Morgan State University and Grambling State University, will be amongst the participants in a study on the new student enrollment resurgence of Black students at Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) sponsored by the Center for Minority Serving Institutions (CMSI).

Announced by CMSI in October, the study aims to explore the motivations that may be related to the recent new student enrollment resurgence at select HBCUs across the country. This qualitative study will collect data on student’s institutional experiences as well as their impetus for considering, attending, and enrolling in HBCUs.

For the first time in five years, Grambling State University has experienced a significant new student enrollment surge similar to both Howard University and Clark Atlanta University — the first two institutions that were included in the study. Boasting a full time enrollment of over 5,000 students, the institution’s student population total is close to their largest student body, 7,883 students in 1993.

“We were excited when Grambling State reached out to us to be included in the study; the institution like many other HBCUs is experiencing an important enrollment shift and we are happy to explore this trend,” says Janelle Williams, Visiting Scholar at CMSI, and one of the two lead authors of the study.

A representative from Morgan State University also reached out and expressed interest in being a participant in the study.

“Morgan State is a critical addition to this study as the institution’s efforts to expand their student population outside the state of Maryland and become a leader in higher education across the country resonates with young college-going students,” shared Robert Palmer, Associate Professor in the Department of Educational Leadership and Policy Studies at Howard University, a Research Affiliate at CMSI and one of the two lead authors of the study.

Findings from the study will inform HBCU administrators, faculty and staff on the factors that influence students interested in enrolling in an HBCU. Based on the study, researchers hope to compile a list of best practices for institutions interested in increasing Black student enrollment, creating inclusive campus environments, and retaining students of colors.

Interested students at Grambling State University or Morgan State University can complete an eligibility survey here.

About the Center for Minority Serving Institutions

The Center for Minority Serving Institutions brings together researchers and practitioners from Historically Black Colleges and Universities, Tribal Colleges and Universities, Hispanic Serving Institutions, and Asian American, Native American, and Pacific Islander Serving Institutions. CMSI’s goals include: elevating the educational contributions of MSIs; ensuring that they are a part of national conversations; bringing awareness to the vital role MSIs play in the nation’s economic development; increasing the rigorous scholarship of MSIs; connecting MSIs’ academic and administrative leadership to promote reform initiatives; and strengthening efforts to close educational achievement gaps among disadvantaged communities. For further information about CMSI, please visit

Friday, December 14, 2018
Press Release type: