Tennessee State University is expecting more than 3,000 incoming freshmen to the university, making it one of the largest freshman classes in HBCU history.
Yahoo News reports in addition to the freshmen, the HBCU is also welcoming about 400 transfer students and more than 1,000 post-graduate students that have registered for the 2022-’23 academic year.
“We are excited that this is the largest first-year class in the history of TSU,” President Glenda Glover told Yahoo. “This growth is quite positive for TSU as more and more students seek to attend our university.”
The rise in enrollment for TSU comes two years after the Black Lives Matter movement and the focus on racial equity led to an unprecedented amount of focus and donations to HBCU schools. Young Black students who saw the deaths of Breonna Taylor and George Floyd wanted to take advantage of their last chance to learn, grow, and celebrate the conclusion of their academic careers with people who look like and understand them.
Glover said the increase in TSU’s enrollment is a great sign for the university and HBCUs in general considering the national enrollment rate for incoming Black freshmen has dropped 19% in the past two years. TSU officials also credit Vice President Kamala Harris, who gave a commencement speech during the spring, a new residence hall, and an extensive recruitment program among other factors for the HBCUs rise in enrollment.
“TSU is one of the few HBCUs with a business information system program and they have computer information systems as well,” Freshman Kollin Gutter, who will be majoring in business information systems, told Yahoo. “I want to pursue my career path in that. I came here because it felt like a family environment and there are a lot of great people here.”
TSU’s class of first-year students outnumber the total Black population at several predominantly white Institutions (PWIs) due to a significant rise in Black students from California, Michigan, Texas, and Wisconsin.