Tallahassee, FL – Throughout the state of Florida, universities are boasting an increase in enrollment; however, one state university is seeing a drastic decrease in students, and more than two years of continual, and arguably severe, issues may be the reason.
“We peaked at about 13,000 a couple years ago. We’re down to 10,700,” said Interim-President Larry Robinson. Robinson retired then returned to this historically black university during one of the most tumultuous periods in FAMU history.
“We certainly know in the last year and a half, we’ve been dealing with some difficult challenges,” he said. The loss of students is estimated to cost the university nearly 12 million dollars over a two year span.
D’Andre Johnson, an out-of-state student at A&M says multiple factors have contributed to the decrease in students following the hazing death of 26-year-old Robert Champion two years ago, but he believes the university will rebound. Johnson says that the band is primarily responsible for the hazing incident, and believes it’s something the university can move past as freshmen and new students continue to enroll.
Other students feel there are other reasons for the decline in enrollment. One student says the high tuition rate may have something to do with dwindling numbers. University officials say it’s not an isolated issue, and point to strict credit ratings needed to get a college loan.
The school says it will work to overcome this obstacle, like any other they’ve faced in recent years, and notes that although enrollment has decreased among undergrads, there has been an increase among grad students.