Despite decreases in enrollment at some colleges and universities across the Commonwealth, Norfolk State University is in the midst of an enrollment explosion.
The Class of 2027 is currently moving into their residence halls on the Norfolk State campus, and they are moving in unprecedented numbers. The university is adjusting to accommodate as much of this growth as possible, say officials. They say the university is excited that more students are seeing the tremendous value of a Norfolk State education and the best is being done to make room for as many new students as possible.
The growth at NSU is not only based on new students, but also the result of more returning students being present on campus this fall. According to university officials, retention numbers are moving in the right direction, which means more NSU students are continuing in their studies and ultimately headed to a successful graduation date in the near future.
Increased admissions and retention numbers are all positive signs for Norfolk State, but it doesn’t come without some growing pains.
Norfolk State has the capacity to house 3,100 students on campus. This fall the university is looking to have over 6,000 students attending classes, which places a huge demand on the Office of Housing and Residence Life.
“While we would love to house all of our students directly on campus, the demand has exceeded our capacity. We have partnered with two local hotels to accommodate the high demand, and we are committed to ensuring those students have transportation to campus as well as on-site staff and security,” said Leonard Brown, VP of Student Affairs.
The campus is already exploring ways to expand its housing inventory, including construction of new residence halls and public-private partnerships to seek community support to address critical needs.
The enrollment boom is being attributed to the national exposure that Norfolk State has received recently with its Top Ten Ranking for HBCUs by U.S. News and World Report, the Spartan Legion band performing in the 2023 Tournament of Roses Parade, the 2023 Women’s Basketball team winning the conference championship and competing in the NCAA Women’s Basketball Tournament, and numerous awards for NSU students by the White House, Target Corporation and Beyonce Knowles BeyGood Foundation.
“Now is our Time” is the mantra that is being whispered around campus, say officials, adding, “if this growth is any indication, the whisper will soon become a roar.”