Third Straight Year of Record Enrollment Advances Morgan State University Closer to 10,000 Students Goal
University Experiences Overall 8% Student Increase Over Previous Year, Bolstered by 4% Growth in First-Time Freshman Enrollment
BALTIMORE — In January of 2022, Morgan State University President David K. Wilson unveiled a bold new 10-year strategic plan, Transformation Morgan 2030: Leading the Future, with a key component of its first goal being to increase overall enrollment to 10,000 students by fall 2030. Seven years ahead of schedule, the University has moved closer to achieving that goal, recording a new, record-high total enrollment of 9,808 students, as reported to the Maryland Higher Education Commission. This is the third year in a row in which the University has achieved a record in its enrollment.
The current enrollment equates to an 8% increase over the previous year, highlighted by the largest graduate school enrollment—1,508 students—in Morgan’s history. The fall 2023 class also marks the third straight year in which more than 50% of the new students came from out of state, with students hailing from 41 states, the most of any new class.
“The momentum happening at Morgan is undeniable, and across the country, prospective students and their parents are taking notice. From the growth in the unique and future-focused academic degree programs we’re offering to the state-of-the-art new facilities we’re erecting on campus, to the cutting-edge research we’re conducting in our centers and laboratories, there is no shortage of reasons to choose Morgan,” said President Wilson. “The work that we’ve done over the past decade to advance Morgan as a rising high research university has aided in raising our profile nationally while introducing us to new markets and new students as a highly sought-after option for achieving educational and academic pursuits.”
A strategic enrollment growth area for the University has been the attraction of out-of-state students. With the growing rise in brand recognition, more prospective students at both the undergraduate and graduate levels are applying to Morgan. For the third consecutive year, more than half of the new students at Morgan come from states outside of Maryland and the District of Columbia (2021 – 51%, 2022 – 52%, 2023 – 51%). During the same period, the number of states Morgan draws from has also climbed, a trend the University has generally seen rise since 2019 (2022 – 35 states, 2021 – 38 states, 2020 –- 30 states, 2019 – 26 states).
With the addition of more innovative advanced degree options in preferred discipline areas such as Data Analytics and Visualization (M.S.); Advanced Computing (M.S.); Secure Embedded Systems Engineering (Ph.D.); Architecture, Urbanism and Built Environments (Ph.D.); and a Doctor of Social Work, to name a few, the School of Graduate Studies has seen an increase in the number of students applying for and enrolling in graduate programs. This fall marked the largest overall graduate student enrollment in University history, with more than 1,500 students enrolled. Morgan’s new College of Interdisciplinary and Continuing Studies — which focuses on helping adult learners who have obtained some college credits but no degree complete the journey to degree attainment through the Morgan Completes You program — received its largest influx of new students since it began enrolling students in 2022. To date, 125 students have been enrolled.
According to new data recently released by the National Student Clearinghouse Research Center, this fall overall undergraduate enrollment across all higher education institutions increased by 2.1% over the previous year (only 1.2% higher than in fall 2021). Nationally, across all higher ed, freshman enrollment actually declined and is now less than 1% higher than 2021’s numbers. By contrast, Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) have experienced enrollment gains highlighted by an undergraduate enrollment increase of 6.1%.
“We like what we are seeing in terms of our annual enrollment growth. Morgan has been able to buck the national trends and attract students at historic levels, not only from here in our home state of Maryland but from around the country in areas where we have not traditionally had such a strong presence,” said Kara Turner, Ph.D., senior vice president for Enrollment Management and Student Success. “The comprehensive strategy that we’ve implemented over the past five years, and particularly coming out of the pandemic period, is producing positive results. Along with diversifying our approach to how we’re targeting prospective students, we are also being very intentional in eliminating any potential barriers throughout the admissions process, and that has proved to be very appealing to students and their families.”
Morgan’s previous record enrollment stood at 9,101 in fall 2022. The University’s enrollment growth still stands among the highest percentage-wise among Maryland four-year institutions over the past several years.
The University will host its annual Fall “Explore Morgan Day” Open House event on Friday, Nov. 3. To learn more and/or register, prospective students and their parents can visit Morgan online at https://www.morgan.edu/openhouse.
Morgan State University, founded in 1867, is a Carnegie-classified high research (R2) institution offering more than 140 academic programs leading to degrees from the baccalaureate to the doctorate. As Maryland’s Preeminent Public Urban Research University, and the only university to have its entire campus designated as a National Treasure by the National Trust for Historic Preservation, Morgan serves a multiethnic and multiracial student body and seeks to ensure that the doors of higher education are opened as wide as possible to as many as possible. For more information about Morgan State University, visit www.morgan.edu.
# # #