ANNAPOLIS – The number of blacks enrolled in Maryland colleges and universities increased by more than 2,100 students last year, a new report says.
Total black enrollment increased to 48,459 in the 1994-’95 academic year, an increase of 4.6 percent over 1993-’94, while overall student enrollment remained largely unchanged, according to a Maryland Higher Education Commission report.
Commission spokesman Jeff Welsh said the growth reflects an overall trend of increasing black enrollments in recent years.
Part of the trend has to do with a 1988 desegregation plan to attract more minorities to the state’s colleges, Welsh said.
Fifty-one percent of black students in the state attended community colleges, according to the report.
“Community colleges are economical, close to home, and the quality of education is high,” Welsh said. “This is the college of choice for nearly two-thirds of students in the state.”
Last fall, 7,171 black students attended Prince George’s Community College, making it the institution with the highest black enrollment.
Thirty-six percent of blacks were enrolled in the University of Maryland System campuses, and 6.8 percent were enrolled at Morgan State University.
With many of its enrollment goals in place, Welsh said the commission is focusing on improving the quality of higher education for minorities.
“As the numbers for the minority population get closer and closer for the state as a whole … we need to be more concerned that the quality of education is good and that it’s affordable,” Welsh said.