DSU enrollment continues to soar
Touting its emphasis on responsible growth, Delaware State University released its enrollment figures for Fall 2023 and is continuing to break enrollment records at the 132-year-old institution. The University now has 6,451 students, an increase of 3.5% over last year and 23% since 2020, making Delaware’s HBCU the fastest-growing in the country.
In addition to a continuing increase in undergraduate students, the University also saw good growth in its graduate profile, up 7% to nearly 900 students; a 5% increase in new transfer students, up to just over 300 students; and a sizable boost to its online profile at almost 800 students, 41% of whom are a part of the University’s growing international portfolio in the Caribbean. It’s worth noting that the state-sponsored, four-year full-tuition Inspire Scholarship has also paid significant dividends. Of the 750 first-year in-state students, 79% are Inspire Scholars.
University President Tony Allen was cautiously optimistic about the numbers. “We have overcome some notable trends in higher education. As we have seen impressive growth in our enrollment since 2017, we have also seen the national trend going in the other direction. We continue to monitor the falling rates of college attendance nationwide and the steady declines in high school graduates due to lower birth rates in the U.S.,” he said.
According to the National Student Clearinghouse, college enrollment has fallen for the last 11 years and is expected to continue well into the future. The University’s upward enrollment trajectory is consistent with its goal, as stated in its Reach 2026 Strategic Plan, to reach 10,000 students by the end of the current decade.
Allen continued, “The race for talent is on, and we have to be prepared to meet our students where they are. If the pandemic has taught us anything, it is that a full portfolio of quality educational offerings, new ways to learn in and outside of the traditional classroom, and a commitment to educating and training students who look like the smaller, more connected world we are becoming is the key to long-term success. We feel very good about our trajectory.”
Senior Vice President of Strategic Enrollment and International Affairs Tony Boyle added, “Our strength is our people. Folks who wake daily on a mission to open minds and opportunities to as diverse a student pipeline as they can no matter where they come from, what they look like, or what barriers may be in front of them.”
The University is also continuing its work in preparing high school students for the rigors of higher education. Of the 600 students in the University’s 7th through 12th Early College School, 105 of the ECHS students are enrolled in college courses. In addition, 174 other high school students are taking DSU classes, with Smyrna High School among the leaders in taking advantage of this program.