How You Can Afford to Attend an Historically Black College and University
By Beth Dumbauld
One hundred and five. Is that a significant number? The answer, like most things, depends on your perspective. Currently, there are 105 historically black colleges and universities in the United States.1 If you are looking to take advantage of the educational opportunities available at a historically black college or university (HBCU) in the United States, that number is significant. Here’s why:
As a prospective student, having over 100 historically black college and universities to choose from means you have access to a diversity of academic options and degree programs. Having choices means you can find an institution that best fits your academic and career needs. Having choices means you don’t have to sacrifice affordability to earn a college degree. This report will show you how you can afford to get your degree at an HBCU.
Interested in Attending an Historically Black College and University? Make a Degree Plan
One of the best things that you can do for yourself if you are considering attending a HBCU, or any other college or university, is to create a degree plan. This should be done before you apply. A solid degree plan (including both academics and finances) will help you assess where you are now and how to get where you want to be. Developing a degree plan now will go a long way to keep you from ending up with an overwhelming amount of student loan debt when you graduate – or worse, don’t graduate.
Background of Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs)
What is an HBCU? Colleges and universities defined as historically black colleges and universities by the Higher Education Act of 1965 are those colleges or universities founded before 1964 whose principal mission was, and is, the education of Black Americans.2 This designation is important because it allows those institutions to be eligible to receive federal funding.
The first HBCU, Cheney University in Pennsylvania, was founded in 1837. By 1953, more than 68,000 students were enrolled in an HBCU. By 1991, 228,000 students were enrolled. Today, 25% of all African-American college graduates have earned that degree from an HBCU.3
Finding Academic and Career Success at an HBCU Today
The impact that historically black colleges and universities have had on their enrolled students and graduates and society is significant. Here are some statistics:
- 25% of African-American college graduates earn their degree at an HBCU4
- 50% of African-American public school teachers graduated from an HBCU5
- 50% of all future African American lawyers graduate from an HBCU6
- 80% of all African American judges graduated from an HBCU7
- 38% of all African American healthcare professionals graduated from an HBCU8
- 41% of all degrees in STEM fields (science, technology, engineering, and math) were earned by African American students graduated from an HBCU9
1Peterson’s, Historically Black Colleges and Universities, 1/24/2013, p.1
2Peterson’s, Historically Black Colleges and Universities, 1/24/2013, p.1
3NPR: Code Switch, Are HBCUs in Trouble? An Evergreen Question, 6/2013, p1
4Diverse Issues in Higher Eduction, Sustaining the Future of HBCUs, 1/2013, p.1
5NPR: Code Switch, Are HBCUs in Trouble? An Evergreen Question, 6/2013, p1
8Diverse Issues in Higher Eduction, Sustaining the Future of HBCUs, 1/2013, p.1
9Diverse Issues in Higher Eduction, Sustaining the Future of HBCUs, 1/2013, p.1