The minimum GPA for a prospective freshman student looking to attend Elizabeth City State University (ECSU) is 2.5. However, the last two incoming classes have average GPA rankings above 3.0, which aligns with the national average for college freshmen.

That’s a testament, university leadership said, to the continued depth and breadth being put into efforts like recruitment, academic and social offerings and eliminating social and economic inhibitors.  

During the COVID-19 pandemic, more colleges than ever went test optional or ceased using tests for admissions altogether. Currently, ECSU is also test optional, not requiring ACT or SAT for entry. However, admissions personnel are yet strategic and intentional in their selection process. It’s a method that involves the entire campus community and makes certain students are supported totally as they navigate high-quality, academic programs.

“When conducting student recruitment, we are definitely looking at the whole student and ensuring that we as an institution provide them with the tools necessary to succeed in their selected major,” said Arlinda Halfacre, ECSU director of the Office of Admissions and Recruitment. “We also work hand in hand with the Office of Student Success and Retention to ensure that students receive those resources. We not only want to admit and enroll the student, but we want the student to be retained and graduate on time.”

With community college partnerships and an emphasis on adult learners, many students now come to Viking Land with dual enrollment credit and are familiar with a college setting, admissions officials said. Once plagued by a shrinking student body, ECSU is now experiencing a robust rise in enrollment. Of note, while many colleges saw drastic dips in enrollment during the pandemic, ECSU noted a 13 % increase. 

The first goal in Chancellor Karrie G. Dixon’s “Forging Our Future,” five-year strategic plan is academic excellence, which states six objectives including, promoting an academic environment centered on student success. Another goal is sustainable growth, which includes improving enrollment management practices and processes.