After raising a daughter, surviving a divorce, and providing care for her ailing parents—Deanna Byrum, 44, obtained her bachelor’s degree at a historically Black public institution in North Carolina. She's among a growing number of adult learners—students age 25 and up—flocking to North Carolina’s HBCUs in recent years.
The colleges have started to pay greater attention to the potential of adult students like Byrum, prompting administrators to make concrete changes to accommodate them.
When Clinton College announced plans to slash tuition by 50 percent, the historically Black institution made headlines. Then, it upped the ante by waiving tuition altogether for incoming and returning students during the 2021-2022 academic year.
It's harder than ever for colleges to fill their incoming classes, but some schools are meeting that challenge with creativity and innovation.