Attending a Historically Black College and University, HBCU, was the best choice for me and I recommend HBCUs to all students. Out of the 111 colleges and universities in North Carolina, 12 are HBCUs. There is a myth that only black, or African American students can attend HBCUs. All ethnicities are welcome at HBCUs, some offer minority scholarships to students of other ethnicities. North Carolina is also home to the biggest HBCU in America, NCAT (North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University). They have the most students enrolled.
HBCUs and PWIs, predominantly white institutions, have many similarities. HBCUs have big, medium, and small campuses. They also have public and private campuses. Another myth is that the education is not as credible as PWIs. Many HBCUs are known for their prestige and scholarship. I researched the top nursing schools in NC and out of the top ten, two HBCUs were on the list. Here is the list along with their yearly instate tuition rate and NCLEX passing rate.
From the picture you can see that HBCUs offer similar outcomes and more usually more affordable.
Price is not the only factor that effects why we choose our colleges. Retention rate is also a factor. For many HBCUs the retention rate is not where it should be. However, I do have a simple solution for that. We need more Crosby Scholars. No, seriously! So many high schools do not have programs like Crosby Scholars that prepare students for the college going process. Many African Americans are first generation students and do not have the tools to help them be successful in college. I am proof that programs like Crosby Scholars can lead to better retention rates.
When I was in high school at Statesville High, we had a program called Gear-Up (which has recently been refunded for ISS and has partnered with us). This program took me on college campuses that I would have never seen otherwise. They taught me how to fill out the FAFSA. They also informed me about the responsibilities and discipline I would need to be successful. I can honestly say without a doubt that without that program I would not have attended WSSU and graduated.
As a HBCU grad, I will also say that the HBCU community, while competitive, is welcoming of all HBCU alumni. Black culture is naturally collectivistic and so all HBCUs are seen as a family. HBCU pride is very strong because of our rich history. Greensboro is one of the places that participated in the Civil Rights protests. My great uncle was attending NCAT during this time. NCAT gives a piece of this history during their tour. I highly recommend! WSSU is rooted in a black community and serves the neighboorhood and surrounding grade schools. At WSSU the motto is “Enter to learn, depart to serve.” While we were taught our majors we were also taught to give back. I appreciated the experiences I had with the surrounding community.
Lastly, the Devine 9. There are 9 original HBCU Greek Organizations. Joining a Greek organization is costly. Most will not allow you join your freshman year because they all value scholarship and that is your priority as a freshman. Some have GPA requirements and depending on which organization you are interested in you cannot fall below a certain average. All organizations value community service, as thier campuses do. These organizations can be found at PWIs as well. The commitment to be a part of these organizations goes beyond graduation. Please do your research and attend information meetings before pursuing.
I hope I have outlined a decent picture of HBCUs. The topic of HBCUs is dear to my heart, and I could go on for days. If you want more information I can give you more of my personal experience and help you find more information.