Top 6 Reasons to Attend an HBCU
Last updated August 17, 2023
There are several great reasons to apply to a historically Black college & university (HBCU). They’re competitive institutions with long histories of academic excellence, societal impact and influential alumni-- including Vice President Kamala Harris! Surveys show that Black students feel their time at HBCUs better prepares them for life after graduation than Black students who go to predominantly white institutions. Here are some reasons why you should consider adding HBCUs to your college list!
HBCUs are smaller higher-ed institutions with close knit communities. Most of them have fewer than 5,000 students, and their small class sizes make it easy to get to know your classmates and form meaningful relationships with your professors. Fewer students means faculty will know your name and are better able to help you achieve academic and professional success!
HBCUs are also known for their student life. Whether you join a student organization/club or just hang out with your peers after class, your time at an HBCU will create strong bonds that will last a lifetime. When you mix this family feel with the school pride, you get a college community that has your back long after you graduate!
While the 101 HBCUs only represent three percent of the country's colleges, the academics are distinguished. For example, Hampton University has the largest Proton Therapy facility in the world and Howard University has an internationally acclaimed theater program. HBCUs are also key in increasing diversity within the STEM field, as 25% of Black graduates with STEM degrees come from HBCUs, and Xavier and Howard University medical schools graduate 92% of the country’s Black doctors! While attending an HBCU, you'll learn from some of the best scholars in the U.S.
HBCUs are actively working to address the cost of college and recognizing the effects of the generational wealth gap among Black students, especially those who are low-income or first-generation. On average, the cost of attending an HBCU is 28% less expensive than attending a predominantly white institution. HBCUs also offer scholarships to fill gaps that financial aid might not be able to cover. For example, Alabama A&M University, Fayetteville State University, and Alabama State University are some of the many HBCUs that offer scholarships or other financial aid assistance that eliminate or reduce out-of-state costs. In addition, scholarships sponsored by organizations like the UNCF and the Thurgood Marshall College Fund also offer partial and full scholarships for students attending an HBCU.
HBCUs were created specifically for Black students over 200 years ago, but still prioritize the cultures and experiences of their predominantly Black student bodies. Many students attend HBCUs to make a stronger connection with their heritage, as they’re surrounded by people with similar cultural experiences. Students who attend HBCUs can experience a unique community of support and understanding with faculty and fellow students.
There's NOTHING like a homecoming at an HBCU! These reunions bring out alumni from every living generation, and students get to meet them and learn about their college experiences. Imagine if a football game, carnival, club, comedy show, cookout, and five of the best concerts you can think of took place at the same exact time –that’s an HBCU homecoming!
Historically Black colleges & universities attract many students because of their legacies. HBCUs have educated some of the Black community’s brightest minds and most influential leaders, including Dr. King (Morehouse College), Oprah (Tennessee State) and Vice President Kamala Harris (Howard University). The personalized education and strong sense of community can help incoming students become part of the legacies of these schools and blaze their own trails in their industries!
Want to know more about HBCUs? Text #Hello to 33-55-77!