Entry #6, November 19, 2010
Article from HBCU Digest:
My dad presented an interesting scenario to me a few days ago: A student is about to graduate high school and of course has a few options, one or two of which are HBCU’s. The cost of the HBCU that they want to attend is much higher than the in-state school so, of course, the student is looking for some scholarship offers; more importantly, the parents are looking for the scholarship offers.
One problem though: They don’t come.
This is a dilemma for both undergrad and graduate students who want to experience a Historically Black College, but can’t experience the cost. Scholarships given by HBCU’s are significantly lower than those given by state or larger schools simply because there is less money to give. In an economy that built for an in-state school tuition, it’s harder for students to choose to attend a Tuskegee or Howard Law paying the full, or a large percentage of the full price, when what other schools offer is a fraction of that cost.
I don’t believe the need for scholarships is lost to most HBCU’s; many colleges have set academic and athletic scholarship monies to give but these monies are limited. For those who are expecting scholarship based on academic standing, whether from high school or undergraduate studies, this can be daunting. And with some school scholarships being offered with no written guidelines, there is a waiting process that can be used to justify accepting the invitation to a Primarily White Institution (otherwise known as the PWI).
The academic rigor of an HBCU has been questioned before. Black Colleges and Universities can be the launching pad for students who did not do as well in high school and with that knowledge, students who had a higher ranking or higher test scores, are looking for those academic scholarships. When they don’t come as easily or more readily, not receiving what is expected can lead to a choice not to attend that HBCU.
A lack of direct scholarships through the university is not lost to most people (especially those who are footing the bill now) and that’s where outside scholarships through organizations such as the United Negro College Fund can step in. On a visit to Spelman College my senior year in high school, a sophomore student there was doing just that. A thousand dollars may not put the type of dent you want in tuition, but a few thousand dollar scholarships do add up. It simply requires more work.
We all know HBCU’s have a lot to offer. But whether or not they get to serve potential students is based on the type of financial support they can bring to the table. Black Colleges are going to have to step up scholarship support in order to build in the future