BALTIMORE (WJZ) — Morgan State University is thriving in ways they have never seen with a record-high number of applications and enrollment.

There has been a 58 percent increase from 2019 due to high visibility from famous alumni among other factors.

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Dr. Kara Turner is Vice President of Enrollment & Student Success. “High profile people include Kamala Harris and Stacey Abrams are both HBCU Grads,” said Dr. Turner. “There has also been high visibility like the Black Lives Matter movement and social justice.”

Morgan State has made standardized testing optional and has also waived application fees during the pandemic.

Chisom Uzoeshi, an incoming Freshman from Plainfield, New Jersey wants to be a nurse. “To help combat this COVID situation and also to bridge the gap on racial inequalities between black nurses and in the healthcare field,” she said in front of her family on campus.

Darius Jones is an incoming Freshman from Baltimore. “It has always made a big impact in my life considering my Grandfather went to Morgan State and my Grandmother went to Morgan State,” he said.

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His brother is enrolled at MSU and is set to graduate next year. “I just wanted to continue to legacy of going to Morgan State in my family,” said Jones.

Coppin State, Bowie State and Maryland Eastern Shore are all getting huge interest. Earlier this month, the state finalized a $577 million dollar settlement over inequality in public higher education. That money will be used for scholarships and expand academic programs.

“We have students who could’ve gone to Harvard. We also have students who may not have been able to get into some of those well-known institutions and we take a chance on them,” Dr. Turner tells WJZ. “We see the potential in them and help them get where it is they’re trying to go.”

With 3 months until the Fall Semester, expectations are these numbers will keep rising.

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Morgan State is also building a new residence facility set to open in 2024.