A historically black liberal arts school, Dillard University is located in New Orleans, Louisiana. It’s affiliated with the United Church of Christ as well as the United Methodist Church. The school enrolls over 1,200 students and offers over 35 degrees.
Dillard University hopes to “produce graduates who excel, become world leaders, are broadly educated, culturally aware, and concerned with improving the human condition.” The school hopes to do this by a “personalized and learning-centered approach.”
The school has numerous Strategic Pillars they use to meet their academic goals. Among the pillars are to be a premier private undergraduate university in the region and in the world of Historically Black Colleges and Universities; expand selectively into graduate studies, building on its best programs that represent future projections of workforce needs; show fiscal integrity, with systems of financial and professional accountability and stability; and develop and promulgate practices relative to the greening of its campus and the promotion of environmental sustainability. It is with these pillars that the faculty at Dillard hope to set themselves apart from other colleges and universities in the nation and to give their students an excellent education.
Dillard University pays homage to two schools that helped found what is today Dillard back in 1869. Those colleges include Straight University (renamed Straight College) and Union Normal School (renamed to New Orleans University). In 1930, many leaders both black and white of New Orleans felt that it was time for an institution that offered higher education for African-American citizens. After much debate and resistance, Straight College and New Orleans University merged forming Dillard University.The new school was to “offer a traditional liberal arts curriculum—rather than nonprofessional, vocational training.” Dillard University opened it’s doors in 1935.
In 2005, when Hurricane Katrina hit New Orleans, Dillard University experienced flood damage. Classes were taught in the New Orleans World Trade Center and students returned to campus in September of 2006.
Many notable alumni have received degrees at Dillard University. Among them are: saxophonist and composer Harold Raymond Battiste, Jr. (1951); Senior Vice President of American Express company and member of the Board of Trustees at Dillard University, Glenda Goodly McNeal (1982); and women’s rights activist and poet, Alice Ruth Moore Dunbar Nelson (1892).
Dillard University is noted for the double-tree lined street called the “Avenue of the Oaks” that is the focal point of the gated 55-acre suburban campus. The campus offers many activities for the students such as student government, a student-run radio station, and a jazz band. Furthermore, many students participate in the Greek Life with 40% of women and 25% of men. The school offers students many athletics such as basketball, volleyball, and track and field.
Dillard University costs $27,000 a year to attend. Students can pay by credit card, check, a payment plan or an external finance company. All of the students who were found to need financial assistance were given some form of it whether it was scholarships (merit, need-based, and athletic), grants, loans, or work-study options. About 7% of those students had their needs fully met. Students can expect to be $36,000 in debt upon graduation.