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February 11, 2019 at 8:22 am

Vedder Says Lower Enrollment Has HBCUs in Trouble

Dr. Richard Vedder, portrait

Dr. Richard Vedder

Dr. Richard Vedder, Distinguished Professor Emeritus of Economics at Ohio University, was quoted in a Forbes article headlined “Lower Enrollment Hits Higher Ed Hard, HBCUs The Hardest.”

“HBCUs as a group are in trouble, no doubt about it,” said Richard Vedder, professor emeritus at Ohio University. “Enrollments have fallen substantially and endowments are very low at most of these schools, and therefore have little cushion, though that’s offset by federal support to HBCUs, which have kept them alive.”

Bennett College, a private women’s school in North Carolina, is at risk of losing accreditation due to its financial condition, though a successful fundraising campaign provided the school a lifeline. Cheyney University is also at risk of losing its accreditation and remains on probationary status given its financial pressures. In 2018, Enrollment dropped by 38%, and university-hired consultants have recommended the school merge with another or close altogether.

Losing Cheyney would represent a highly symbolic blow since it was the first HBCU, established in 1837.

Read more in Forbes.

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