Fisk University, an elite historically Black college and university (HBCU), announced on Tuesday (Sept. 6) that its 2022 freshman class is its largest enrollment in over 40 years.

According to a press release from the Nashville HBCU, Fisk has exceeded 1,050 students this fall, with just under 400 incoming students. In 2017, the student body consisted of only 630 students. Per Fisk, the 2022 class represents 33 states and five countries.

Jeremiah Armstead, a freshman, shared that after being homeless for most of his high school years, he is excited about his opportunity at the university. “The support bracket I have now in Nashville is outstanding, and for a young college student with a story such as myself,” Armstead said. “I wouldn’t get through most obstacles without outstanding support.”

Forbes ranked Fisk as the country’s top academic institution last year, reflecting the college’s impressive effectiveness in achieving exceptional outcomes despite limited resources. According to Fisk University Executive Vice President Jens Frederiksen, “Fisk has been incredibly effective at delivering and communicating amazing student outcomes and, by extension, an extraordinary return on investment. Many of these unprecedented outcomes are the result of a concerted effort to invest in leadership and professional development programming.”

Although Fisk delivers great results for its graduates, its commitment to remaining affordable has resulted in some applicants not being accepted due to funding issues. Sheila Smith, associate vice president for enrollment management, said, “This year, we turned away too many students whose future should have begun at Fisk, but the financials simply did not compute.” In addition, over half of the first-year students are Pell grant-eligible, which makes attending the private HBCU school financially difficult.

Despite this, Fisk has kept up with other universities’ facilities, scholarship programs, and technology without overspending. The university aims to enroll 1,600-1,800 students in the next four years.