Why Go to An HBCU?
According to a recent Gallup-Purdue survey of 50,000 college alumni over two years, the reasons for attending an HBCU stack up in a big way. Of the respondents, about 50% of black HBCU graduates said their college or university was “the perfect school” for them. In comparison, only 34% of non-HBCU alumni agreed. HBCUs are a lot different than PWIs, or, Predominately White Institutions. With minority groups as the majority, the environment of an HBCU is totally different than a PWI. In this article, we’ll go over some great reasons for attending an HBCU.
In general, HBCU campuses are smaller than PWIs, naturally making them more intimate. The size will allow you to get to know more students, faculty, and staff. Your classes will be smaller too, so you’ll never feel alone in your coursework and the professor will be accessible. Your school will become your second family! Don’t think that the smallness means less culture, though; it’s the exact opposite.
The biggest difference between HBCUs and PWIs is that minorities make up the majority on these campuses. All kinds of paths of life come together, and everyone with you believes in the same vision—to make history as an HBCU graduate. Plus, there are so many things about going to a school like FAMU or NCCU to be hype about. One of them is Greek life.
Greek life touches everything on an HBCU campus—the community, social life, friendships, and even how people network. There are nine BGLOs—Black Greek-letter organizations—that are called the “Divine Nine.” These are: Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Incorporated, Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Incorporated, Sigma Gamma Rho Sorority, Incorporated, Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Incorporated, Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Incorporated, Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity, Incorporated, Iota Phi Theta Fraternity, Incorporated, Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Incorporated, and Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Incorporated. Greeks infamously partake in strolls and stepping, two defining elements that make up an HBCU. If you’ve ever been to an event at one of the 100+ HBCUs in the United States, then you’ve probably seen someone sporting their letters proudly on their chest. It’s a huge commitment to become a Greek brother or sister, but there is no comparison to the bonds made within BGLOs.
If you’re thinking about attending an HBCU, then Homecoming might seal the deal. For students and alumni alike, Homecoming is one of the best times of the year. Every fall, HBCUs hold Homecoming weeks that have become notorious for their live performances, Greek step competitions, and iconic marching band shows. For example, Howard University and NC A&T each have blow out Homecomings that draw people from all over. It’s a time to celebrate in fellowship with the community you’ve either been in or are in. No matter what, it’s a family affair unlike any other.
On average, HBCUs are far more inexpensive than PWIs, all while offering the same educational value and opportunity. According to Dr. Michael L. Lomax, cost of attendance at an HBCU in 2013-14 was 26% lower than PWIs. This helps more low-income, first-generation students enroll and create their futures. The Gallup-Purdue survey we referenced earlier in this article states that 51% of black HBCU graduates reported doing well financially—less debt, more success!
Made up your mind yet? Considering an HBCU? Let everyone know with a new sweatshirt from LegacyHistoryPride! The print will serve as your hype man, a testament to your success! It’s perfect as a gift for a student or yourself as you head off to the illustrious [blank—that’s for you to fill in!].