Elizabeth City State University is providing a one-time $1,000 housing grant to each student living on campus in in the Fall 2022 and Spring 2023 semesters, the university announced Thursday.
The smallest of the five Historically Black College and Universities (HBCUs) in the UNC system by enrollment, ECSU has seen the same recent bump in enrollment enjoyed by most of the system’s HBCUs. Elizabeth City State’s fall 2021 enrollment was up 2.6% to 2,054, the largest enrollment the school has seen since 2013. But that’s still far from its peak of about 3,000 students.
“ECSU is the #1 most affordable four-year HBCU in the nation,” said Chancellor Karrie G. Dixon in a statement, citing a recent survey of U.S. Department of Education College Scorecard data, “And by offsetting the cost of housing, our students can focus on their studies. We want students to love where they live and learn, and when they graduate, venture into a world of possibilities with minimal debt.”
The university said it will automatically apply the grant to students’ accounts as part of its VikingPLUS program, which also provides free credits, retention grants, an on-campus food pantry, and emergency student assistance funds. The housing grants will not impact financial aid eligibility.
The university estimates it will give nearly $2 million in housing grants, made possible through federal Higher Education Emergency Relief Funds.
As Policy Watch reported earlier this month, the UNC Board of Governors recently voted to raise the cap on out-of-state admissions at three of the five HBCUs in the UNC System, ECUS among them.
To ensure qualified North Carolinians can receive the greatest benefit from UNC System schools, out-of-state admissions at most campuses are currently capped at 18%. Schools can be penalized if they admit a higher percentage of incoming first-year students from out of state. (The NC School of the Arts and the School of Science and Math have a different cap because they are specialized schools.) Last year, the system’s board of governors raised the cap at system HBCUs to 25 percent.
Earlier this month, the board approved raising the cap to 35% at N.C. A&T and North Carolina Central University and to 50 percent at ECSU. The cap at Fayetteville State University and Winston-Salem State University will remain at 25%.