ECSU eyeing enrollment turnaround


Shown is the new logo for Elizabeth City State University. It's in a modern font known as Keplar and features Lane Hall, the oldest building on campus. The words “founded 1891” are also included.


By Reggie Ponder
Staff Writer

Sunday, August 13, 2017

As freshmen moving into their dorms Friday expressed excitement about the year ahead, Elizabeth City State University officials seemed just as excited about the prospect of robust enrollment for the first time in years.

Final enrollment numbers will not be available until an annual census is complete — probably around Aug. 28 — but the university’s latest information shows the number of freshmen with the intent to enroll at 388. That compares to 55 at the same time last year.

The university had set a freshman enrollment goal this year of 322, a target that appears to have been exceeded by more than 20 percent.

In addition, the number of transfer students this year is 78. That compares to 10 last year at this time. Meanwhile, the number of students admitted is 1,565, compared to 919 this time last year.

ECSU Chancellor Thomas Conway expressed excitement about the enrollment outlook.

“We are expecting the largest freshman class in five years, and we’re excited about moving forward,” Conway said.

Conway told university trustees at their regular meeting in June that the university was staying in touch with students after they are accepted in an effort to improve enrollment. He said insufficient follow-up with students who had been accepted has been identified as one of the shortcomings in recruitment efforts in prior years.

"We're being more aggressive in that part of the process," Conway said, referring to the new emphasis on reaching out to prospective students with "soft touches" to see if they are still interested in attending ECSU.

Darius Eure, who heads recruitment efforts at ECSU, told trustees that the admissions staff has a regular presence in high schools across the university’s 21-county service area in northeastern North Carolina.