“I plead with you; let’s work together,” said faculty senate president of Norfolk State University Suely Black addressing board members.

It’s uncertain how many of the 400 full- and part-time instructors at historically black Norfolk State in Virginia will be laid off. But due to a decline in university enrollment, fewer teachers will be needed, said President Eddie Moore Jr.

Black said teachers are out of the loop and not receiving appropriate information on important university decisions, according to The Virginian-Pilot. Recently (March 21), Norfolk State University’s governing board approved a rise to tuition to help relieve a budget gap as enrollment declines.

Norfolk State will raise tuition for both in-state and out-of-state undergraduates to $7,552 and $29,320 respectfully—an increase of $326 for in-state and $250 for out-of-state students. For some in-state students however, the cost of living on campus will now be just over $16,000, with the rate for room and board raised to an additional $250—$576 more than this year.

University officials say, because of a change to the federal PLUS loan policy by the Obama administration, many students who rely on government aid are having trouble with paying for college.

“This is the worst situation I’ve seen in my 35 years as President,” said Dr. William Harvey of Hampton University on the PLUS loan problem that caused 14,616 students from historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs) to leave their studies in the fall of 2012.

“We don’t have anybody advocating for us,” he said.

On a positive note, Norfolk State University remains among the cheapest and most affordable colleges in Virginia, giving students the biggest bang for their bucks.

Tommy Meade is HBCU Buzzs Editor-in-chief. Join the discussion and comment below.

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