Home » Despite increased interest and funding at HBCUs, campuses are navigating housing shortages

Despite increased interest and funding at HBCUs, campuses are navigating housing shortages

by The Grio

According to some presidents of Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs), there’s a welcomed phenomenon happening on their campuses. Enrollment, particularly that of the 2022-2023 freshman class, has increased exponentially. However, with that expansion to the student population comes a new challenge for HBCU campuses: less available housing.

The unexpected result of heightened interest in HBCUs — particularly in the wake of the 2020 uprisings for racial justice — is now something that historically Black institutions are actively working on to find a sustainable fix for.

Morgan State University is currently leasing several hotels for students, even as they opened a new 670-bedroom dormitory in 2022, according to its president David Wilson. The school is also expecting a new dorm in 2024 with 604 additional new beds. 

BALTIMORE, MARYLAND – MAY 21: A general view of Morgan State University 2022 Commencement at Morgan State University on May 21, 2022 in Baltimore, Maryland. (Photo by Brian Stukes/Getty Images)

About 20% of the freshman class at Morgan State are first-generation college students. A source with knowledge of enrollment at Tennessee State University said that similarly, in 2019, 30% of the freshman class comprised first-generation college students.

The COVID-19 school lockdowns are said to be a factor for the enrollment spike, says former Dillard University president, Walter Kimbrough. 

“Post-COVID … people are looking to be on campus and to have that full campus experience, particularly those students who have spent two years in virtual learning in high school,” he told theGrio.

Kimbrough currently serves as interim executive director of the new Black Men’s Research Institute at Morehouse College, another prestigious HBCU that has seen an explosion in enrollment. Kimbrough said that when he was president of Dillard, the campus experienced a similar…

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