Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) were originally founded in the United States to allow black Americans the opportunity to pursue higher level education. Attending these universities was essentially the only way to receive a college education as a black American. However, today these universities and colleges exist in a time where schools are no longer segregated. Nonetheless, they are wonderful places where students can be surrounded by their culture, empowered, and supported.
The original role of these universities was to provide equal education for black individuals. In 2019, these colleges still play an important role in the higher level education system. There are currently 107 HBCUs in the United States with an enrollment of over 228,000 students. More than 80% of black Americans who have a degree in medicine and dentistry have received them from an HBCU, such as Howard or Meharry Medical College.
An advantage of attending an HBCU is that their average tuitions are less than other universities, and they offer a wider range of financial aid. A common misconception about HBCUs is that they’re all black, which is not the case. Although the majority of students who attend these universities are black, they are not exclusively black. HBCUs house diverse student populations, in many cases incorporating international students, and the faculty members and staff are diverse as well.
Historically Black Colleges and Universities play an important role in African American history and in higher education. Considering an HBCU when applying to colleges is important because it can diversify one’s education and meet his or her personal needs.