Delaware State University has reported the largest enrollment growth in the university’s history, with an enrollment of more than 6,200 students.
The accomplishment marks the fourth time in the last five years the university has grown its enrollment. Graduate and online enrollment at Delaware State also saw significant year-over-year increases at 5.7% and 56.8%, respectively.
With the recent spike in enrollment, the institution is closer to its goal to reach 7,500 students by 2026 and 10,000 students by 2029.
“The best signal of success for any higher education institution is more students wanting to enroll, wanting to join our family, wanting to make their mark in a smaller, more interconnected global community,” said Tony Allen, Delaware State University president.
“Regardless of what you look like, where you come from or your financial means, we want a student profile that looks more and more like the country we need to be inclusive, contemporary, and built for generations to come,” he added.
Enhancements to the Inspire Scholarship Program, expansion of the Early College School, and a new emphasis on the university’s graduate and online programs factor into the university’s enrollment success.
The Inspire Scholarship offers a 4-year full tuition scholarship available to qualifying Delaware high school graduates who enroll at Delaware State University in the fall semester right after high school graduation.
Of the nearly 700 first-year in-state students, 67% are Inspire scholars. The current first-year class totals more than 1,400, which is also a record.
The Early College School is a Delaware Department of Education-approved tuition-free public charter school, that offers students the opportunity to accelerate their high school matriculation and their college education.
This fall, seventh and eighth grades were added and the school now boasts a total enrollment of nearly 600 students, 67% of whom enrolled at the Delaware State over the last five years.
Delaware State is also the first HBCU in history to acquire another college as the deal for Wesley College, now Wesley College of Health and Behavioral Sciences, was finalized in July 2021.
“We have had to grow responsibly and with clear intention,” Allen said. “Investments like the Inspire Scholarship, the Early College High School and the acquisition of Wesley College have helped us move the needle.”
“Still, execution is always at the forefront of our minds. Our students come to us not simply for quality education but to literally change the trajectory of their lives for themselves, their families, and their communities. They deserve our very best in helping them do exactly that.”
– Tony Allen, Delaware State University president
Harry L. Williams, president emeritus of Delaware State University from 2010-2017 and the current president and CEO of the Thurgood Marshall College Fund, brokered the Inspire Scholarship and established the Early College School during his tenure at the university.
For Williams, Delaware State’s enrollment growth comes as no surprise.
“The university has been strategic in growing in a fashion that has markedly increased the university’s footprint and profile in Delaware and across the country,” Williams said in a statement. “Delaware State’s future is extremely bright, and the university continues to be a smart investment for corporate, philanthropic and government partners at the federal, state and local levels.”