The Benefits of Attending an HBCU
There are a host of famous faces who count Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) as their alma mater, including our Vice President Kamala Harris. Given their list of noteworthy graduates, many students might be interested in the benefits associated with attending an HBCU.
From active alumni networks to a supportive campus community, there are multiple reasons why HBCUs should earn a spot on your radar. Keep reading to learn more about the benefits students can reap by attending an HBCU.
Take Advantage of a Supportive Environment
Research shows that student engagement levels are particularly high at HBCUs and graduation rates for minority students are 6-16% higher at these schools. What accounts for these impressive statistics? One significant success factor is the level of support that is available to students at most HBCUs. These institutions have a rich history of providing a great wealth of services for their students, including using professional tutors to staff their writing centers and keeping student to faculty ratios low. Rather than being just a number, HBCUs are committed to seeing each of their students as individuals and providing a breadth of services that are designed to support individuals throughout their academic journey.
Jumpstart Your Career
Students don’t just enjoy the benefits of an HBCU while they’re on campus; they can take advantage of their alma mater throughout their professional careers. HBCUs often have robust alumni networks that are really committed to helping their fellow graduates succeed. For example, at Howard University, students can take advantage of Alumni Career Services to discover job opportunities that align with their background and interests and sit in on Alumni Insight Calls and Bison Roundtables for updates on the university. Additionally, many HBCUs have partnerships with other colleges through initiatives like the HBCU Partnership Challenge, giving students access to even more opportunities.
Connect to History
If you’re passionate about history, attending an HBCU will bring you face to face with some of our country’s most noteworthy milestones. Many HBCUs were founded centuries ago and have a wealth of historic landmarks on their campus. For example, the first class ever taught at Hampton University took place under an oak tree during the Civil War in 1861. Howard University was founded just 6 years later in Washington D.C. and named for General Oliver Otis Howard, head of the post-Civil War Freedmen’s Bureau, who influenced Congress to appropriate funds for the school. Students who attend an HBCU will have an opportunity to learn about their school’s rich history while paving the way for future change.
Take Your STEM Studies to the Next Level
Students with a passion for STEM might want to give HBCUs special consideration. 25% of African American graduates with STEM degrees come from HBCUs and 8 HBCUs were among the top 20 institutions to award the most science and engineering bachelor’s degrees to black graduates from 2008-2012. Some HBCUs that are particularly renowned for their STEM offerings include North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University, Howard University, and Alabama A&M University.
For students who are interested in a tight-knit campus culture and ongoing networking opportunities, an HBCU may prove to be a best-fit option that deserves a spot on your balanced list of best-fit colleges. If you’re currently researching schools and looking for additional guidance, our team of college admissions experts can provide guidance throughout your journey.