When choosing the right college, there are a thousand details to consider. Is it close to home? Are the class sizes too big? Is it competitive? Does it offer engaging extracurriculars? These are just a few of the myriad of considerations that a potential student must analyze. However, one of the most important factors that affect one’s decision to attend a university is the demographic of the student population. A Historically Black College and University, or HBCU, is any institution of higher learning that was originally created to educate Americans of African descent. HBCUs can provide a wide range of opportunities to its students that can not be found in any other type of university.
For African Americans, attending an HBCU is a great way to learn about African American history and culture from intellectuals of the same descent.
It also allows you to meet African American people from a variety of backgrounds, which enables you to learn about the differences and similarities found in African American culture depending on the area of the country in which you were raised. For persons of other racial and cultural backgrounds who are interested in learning about African Americans, attending an HBCU can help you to explore the culture through interacting and observing people of color while receiving a high-quality education.
Another perk of attending an HBCU is that there are many opportunities specifically geared towards African Americans. Whenever graduate schools or corporations are seeking to diversify their institutions, many turn to HBCUs to find educated, well-rounded people of color to add to their groups. Also, HBCUs offer more courses that are specifically designed to improve the African American experience and to help them make connections that will allow them to successfully navigate the working world after completing their studies.
Lastly, a very prominent reason why most students attend HBCUs is that they believe that it is a safe environment free from antagonistic behavior such as racism. In a racially hostile environment, many African American students are forced to juggle their studies along with the added stress of feeling like they do not belong or that they are unworthy of the education they are receiving. This reduces their confidence and causes them to doubt themselves and their capabilities. As such, many prefer to attend HBCUs where the chance of being targeted because of racial bias is significantly reduced.
Ultimately, historically black college and universities were established one hundred and fifty one years ago with the intent of educating African Americans who had previously had very limited options as it relates to receiving higher education. Over a century later, their mission remains the same. They have continued to provide a quality education for people of color and anyone interested in receiving it. HBCUs have been and continue to be a source of pride and excellence for African Americans and they are worthy of your consideration when deciding where to pursue tertiary education.