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Claflin College Is a Private Black College That Is Weathering the Economic Storm

Claflin College Is a Private Black College That Is Weathering the Economic Storm
Posted By: Reggie Culpepper on July 28, 2009

Much of the recent news concerning private black colleges and universities has been depressing.

Paul Quinn College in Dallas recently lost its accreditation due to its precarious financial position. Tougaloo College in Mississippi and Florida Memorial College in Miami are both in danger of losing their accreditation. Earlier this year, the city of Atlanta shut off the water to the campus of Morris Brown College because the school had not paid its bills. Only appropriations from the state of Tennessee and the city of Memphis prevented LeMoyne-Owen College from closing its doors.

These private schools tend to have very small endowments and they depend on tuition payments to fund their operating budgets. When the economy is reeling, enrollments decline and these small private black colleges have great difficulty meeting their expenses.

But in the midst of this doom and gloom is a significant success story, Claflin University in Orangeburg, South Carolina.



Enrollments at the historically black college, which is affiliated with the United Methodist Church, have increased from 1,000 to 1,800. The university’s endowment has increased from $7 million to $17 million. The dollar value of research grants won by the university has tripled over the past 15 years. The average entering SAT score of students has jumped 200 points. Claflin’s graduation rate of 55 percent is one of the highest among historically black colleges and universities. This past academic year, despite the bad economy, Claflin had its largest entering class in its history. Forbes magazine rates Claflin University as the 141st best college in the nation, the highest ranking of any HBCU.

Claflin president Henry Tisdale credits the university’s success to a commitment to academics, which allows it to attract high-quality students, research grants, and top faculty.

For his efforts in keeping Claflin University strong, in June President Tisdale was awarded an honorary degree from Hofstra University.
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Jimmy Chambers
Senior Associate Technical Support at American Red Cross
Proud to call Claflin University my alma mater. The university with its warm family-like environment shaped me into the man I am today. I am very pleased with the growth and success of Claflin. President Tisdale has done a marvelous job during his tenure. I expect greater things and accomplshments for Claflin in the coming years. As per Alma Mater, "When the sun of Carolina , Mounts the eastern sky, Proudly stand our Alma Mater, on the hilltop high".
Saturday, August 8th 2009 at 12:40AM
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