Re-Strengthening Numbers in Enrollment

After losing hundreds of its students due to Hurricane Katrina, Dillard University is striving to re-strengthen its student body back to pre-Katrina enrollment numbers. According to Travis Chase, the Assistant Director of Recruitment of Admissions, the Spring 2006 enrollment of 1,100 students decreased dramatically from the Fall 2005 enrollment of 2,100 students.


“Due to the current campus location, at the Riverside Hilton Hotel instead of 2601 Gentilly Blvd., it is difficult for perspective students to gain a true connection to the university because of a lack of campus tours,” said Karen Gibbs, Director of Special Programs. Gibbs added, “Hurricane Katrina has made parents hesitant to send their children back to New Orleans, which has created a great challenge for Dillard.”


Despite the obstacles faced, the Admissions Office continues its usual programs, along with new additions, to boost enrollment. Gibbs said the student ambassadors have made over 1300 phone calls to talk to potential students.


“The Admissions Office has been putting forth all efforts to ensure a strong student enrollment for the Fall 2006 semester”, Chase said.


Dillard recruiters have also continued to do college fairs and high school visits coast to coast to let people know that Dillard is still going strong. They have visited cities such as Atlanta; Sacramento, Dallas, Houston, New York and many others.


“Through various visits around the country, recruiters have contacted over 5400 perspective students from Sept. 12 to April 3,” said Al Dorsey, Jr., Director of Recruitment.


Dorsey said the office has currently received over 1600 applications for the Fall 2006 semester, of which over 400 have been admitted. Though the office is working hard, Dorsey commented that there may be some shortages in enrollment but they are doing their best to keep the university strong.


Dillard University took a hard blow from the hurricane but is coming back strong. “With our faculty, staff and future students committed, we feel there are brighter days ahead for us at Dillard,” said Chase.