For a fifth consecutive year, Maryland's historically black schools have recorded the largest enrollment increases at the state's public and private universities.
Overall, enrollments were up 2.8 percent at private institutions; 2.3 percent at community colleges, and 1.3 percent at public four-year colleges and universities, the Maryland Higher Education Commission said in a report this week.
The 22-page report states that this fall, there were 259,598 student enrolled at public and private colleges and universities in Maryland.
Among the black schools, Coppin State College showed the largest increase with 23.5 percent, or 298 more full-time undergraduate students than last fall, for a total enrollment of 1,564.
Bowie State University recorded a 16.7 percent enrollment increase of undergraduate students and Morgan State University's enrollment increased 8.7 percent to 3,474 undergraduates.
Morgan State president Earl S. Richardson attributed the increases to a trend by black high school graduates to attend historically black institutions.
State Secretary of Higher Education Shaila Aery said increases in state financial aid have also sparked the increased college admissions that show more women enrolled in undergraduate and graduate courses than men -- 147,139 to 112,459.
Aery also said that more high school seniors are choosing to remain in Maryland for a college education at one of the more than 50 institutions, which she said is a vote of confidence in a legislative reorganization of higher education that took place in 1988. That restructuring resulted in a 48.3 percent, or $212 million, increase in state funding for higher education.
The University of Maryland System's 11 campuses recorded an overall increase of 1.8 percent in full-time undergraduate enrollment over last fall, according to the report. The graduate enrollment increased by 6 percent for a total of 6,670 students.
At the UM flagship campus at College Park, enrollment dipped by 4.5 percent as part of a planned scaling back of full-time undergraduates. The total enrollment this fall is 21,543.
Other UM schools reported increases: 11.6 percent at UM Eastern Shore, also a historically black institution, 7.5 percent at the University of Baltimore and 8.7 percent at Salisbury State University.