Howard University, HBCU

Howard University Breaks Record With 37,000 Applicants For Freshman Class

The university hopes to enroll as many students as possible through its "Howard Forward" plan.

Getting into Howard University’s class of 2028 may be harder this year. The HBCU announced it has received a record-breaking 37,000 applicants.

The influx of interested students also led to a lower acceptance rate, now between 30 and 32 percent for this year’s cohort. This is down from the 36% during 2023’s application pool, as reported by Howard’s student newspaper, The Hilltop.

However, the numbers for the average GPA among the accepted students remained relatively the same. Their grades ranged from 3.58 to 3.65, the latter being the average for last year.

Student test scores continued to trend at the same pace. On average, accepted students showcased scores of 1120 to 1130 for the SAT, a slight dip from last year’s 1167; this year’s average ACT score of between 23 and 24 held steady.

The number of students applying to Howard has steadily increased over the years. The HBCU assumed that its high-profile alumni, especially Vice President Kamala Harris, contributed to the rise. Fortunately for interested high schoolers, Howard intends to bring in as many students as possible for the university’s operations. Their current “Howard Forward” plan also includes goals to increase enrollment.

However, the school has a total enrollment of 12,500 by 2024, but they were over by nearly 1,000 students last year. This may signify fewer students hanging out in the famed yard in the upcoming years.

Some may also fear how the strike down on affirmative action will impact their acceptance into the HBCU. However, Assistant Director for Undergraduate Admissions Karina Sanchez is not worried about that.

“It [affirmative action] doesn’t really affect us too much because we are an HBCU, so the majority of our applicants do come from one demographic,” explained Sanchez. “We do get a diverse demographic pool, though, and everyone is weighed equally, so we don’t look at their race or their ethnic background.”

Despite this lingering concern, incoming students told the publication of their reasoning behind attending the school. Many emphasized its history and cultural events like Homecoming influencing their decision.

“Howard feels like the perfect place for me,” shared Josiah Smith, who is in the top 25 of his class at a Louisiana high school. “If I end up going to Howard, I’m excited to be a Bison…experience Howard Homecoming-Yardfest and really just be surrounded by people who look like me and want me to succeed.” 

Students have until May 1 to make their decision to become a Howard Bison.