DOVER — Delaware State University released its enrollment figures for fall 2023 and is continuing to break enrollment records at the 132-year-old institution, a news release said Tuesday.
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.
According to the release, 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 apart of the University’s growing international portfolio in the Caribbean.
The University said 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," he said.
“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 US.”
According to the National Clearing House, 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.
Also Mr. Allen said, “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 said that “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.”
Also, in addition to the more than 600 students in the university’s 7th through 12th Early College School, 174 other high school students are enrolled in college coursework. Smyrna High School is among the leaders in taking advantage of this program, the release said.