Historically Black Colleges & Universities: Providing an Education for All
Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) were established to provide safe post-secondary education to the African American community. However, students of any race were permitted to attend. Prior to the Civil Rights Act of 1964, discriminatory practices prevented blacks from attending white institutions. Understanding the need to access education and the desire to gain professional skills, the American Missionary Association and the Freedmen’s Bureau spearheaded the movement to create colleges and universities for African Americans throughout the South, Midwest, and Northeast. This fervent pursuit of higher education led to Cheyney University of Pennsylvania’s establishment in 1837. This was the first institution of higher learning for Blacks.
Today there are 107 Historically Black Colleges and Universities; 56 private and 51 public. Among the most popular are: Florida Agricultural & Mechanical University, Howard University, North Carolina Central University, and Tuskegee University, to name a few. These institutions have empowered and educated their student bodies for more than a century, each graduating class' talent pool striving to surpass its predecessor. HBCUs are a hotbed of culture, scholarship, and camaraderie. Students attending HBCUs have reported feeling emotionally and mentally supported by their professors and peers, feeling culturally connected in an environment that allows them to learn about their rich history, and having preferential access to several degrees in the STEM (science, technology, engineering & math) field. HBCUs have been the home of many well-known alumni who are still active and engaged in their college communities. Kamala Harris (Howard University), Samuel L. Jackson (Morehouse College), Oprah Winfrey (Tennessee State University), and Erykah Badu (Grambling State University) all have attained success with an HBCU degree in hand.
Selecting a college that fits an applicant's academic, social, and financial goals is one of the biggest decisions a young adult will make. The factors below make HBCUs an attractive option for both minority and nonminority candidates.
· Cost. The average cost of attendance at an HBCU is 26% lower than traditionally white institutions. The financial aid teams at these institutions have extensive experience in finding scholarships, grants, and other financial resources to assist students with tuition, housing, books, and room & board.
Support. Because of their size, an emphasis is placed on high-quality student-teacher interaction. Smaller enrollment numbers allow students to form relationships with their professors, further increasing their chance of academic success and ultimately graduation.
Racial Diversity. At their inception, HBCUs were created so people of color would have equal access to higher education. Today, the campuses are home to students of all races and nationalities. These institutions aim to exhibit sensitivity to all students’ needs, keeping in mind the importance of hiring a staff that mirrors the students’ diversity.
CBCR is committed to exposing its students to all colleges and universities. Recognizing the impact of Historically Black Colleges and Universities on the landscape of academia and American history will ensure that you, too, are College Bound, Career Ready.
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