Praise and Funding Distributed Unevenly Among Black Colleges – WJET / WFXP /

Atlanta (AP) – The appointment of two faculty members who have been in the spotlight these days could be a funding and enrollment jackpot for Howard University, one of the most prestigious black colleges in the world. United States. Many other black schools are not so fortunate. In fact, many are in difficulty.

Some, especially small private universities, have been exacerbated by the coronavirus pandemic, for years to survive due to low donations, aging buildings and a steady decline in enrollments. I fought.

“Large HBCUs often have the resources to attract skilled talent, like Nicole Hannah Jones and Tanehishi Coats, but many smaller institutions need donors to move forward. And we provide the resources we are coveted to compete with, ”says Dr. Paulette. Dillard, president of Shaw University, a private black university in Raleigh, North Carolina.

Hannah Jones is on Howard’s faculty in a debate over whether she will get a job at the University of North Carolina after critics questioned her qualifications, especially the Pulitzer Prize-winning work. ” 1619 Project “. I accepted the job. Howard’s graduate Coates is a bestselling journalist and author who recently joined Howard’s faculty.

Billions of dollars in federal virus bailouts help higher education, but historically it may not be enough to change the long-term fate of black schools. Analysis of enrollment and donation data by The Associated Press shows that there is a wide disparity between 102 historically black colleges, further dividing between private and public institutions.

For example, the five richest black private universities had donations ranging from $ 73,000 to over $ 200,000 per student, with a median donation of less than $ 16,000 per student. The biggest donation from public black colleges was less than $ 25,000 per student, but public schools are also state sponsored.

Total enrollment at historically black colleges fell 11%, from 325,609 in 2010 to 289,507 in 2019 in the last decade of data availability. Enrollment on some campuses has been cut in half during this period, and some managers have said enrollment numbers have been reduced. Also during last year’s coronavirus pandemic.

Typically, black universities do not have the ability to raise funds for other universities. Cumulative donations to all historically black colleges in 2019 were just over $ 3.9 billion. It’s pretty much the same as a donation from the University of Minnesota alone.

Of that amount, only eight private black universities, Spelman College, Hampton University, Meharry Medical College, Louisiana Xavier College, Morehouse College, Tuskegee University, Morehouse College and Howard College, accounted for 54% of the total. Harris among the graduates.

Racial injustice protests last summer brought new attention to historic black colleges and led to an increase in personal donations, at least for some.

Mackenzie Scott, the ex-wife of former Amazon founder Jeff Bezos, has 500 million people in 22 black colleges, including colleges with very limited donations, as well as the Sirgood Marshall University Fund and the United Negro. University Fund. Donation of $ 60 million. For the black college. Netflix founder Reed Hastings and his wife Patikirin gave away $ 120 million to the United Negro College Fund, Spellman and Morehouse. Former New York mayor and entrepreneur Michael Bloomberg has pledged $ 100 million to support students at four historically Black College medical schools.

Harry Williams, President and CEO of the Thurgood Marshall Foundation, said:

Yet many lesser-known schools continue to struggle and scramble for money. Shaw, one of the oldest historic black colleges in the South, only donated $ 8,436 per student and did not benefit significantly from last year’s wave of private donations, according to college finances. David Bird, vice president in charge, said.

Universities can “pay the bills” and pass, but still have $ 26 million in deferred maintenance. Shaw and other small black colleges, which rely primarily on tuition fees, are counting on help from the federal coronavirus bailout, which was advocated by President Joe Biden and passed by Congress this spring. The US Department of Education has yet to announce how to allocate the funds, but the aid program will send about $ 2.6 billion to Historically Black Colleges.

Shaw will use this money to repair old buildings and dormitories and expand various student services. Federal aid can be used to hire more teachers, raise salaries and upgrade heating and air conditioning systems to make up for lost tuition income during the pandemic.

Another historically small private university in Ohio, Wilberforce University, decided to use its pandemic bailouts in a similar fashion after the government cleared a large chunk of the $ 25 million federal debt. university dollars. I am planning.

William Woodson, vice president of the treasury at Wilberforce, said:

Student debt is a major hurdle for graduates of historically black universities, and managers say it has hurt admission. Limited donations mean their campuses cannot subsidize tuition as much as wealthier universities.

Most students at Historically Black Colleges come from the poorest families, who earn less than $ 20,000 a year and are forced to borrow. Federal figures show that a typical black college graduate who has borrowed money borrows $ 52,000 in student loan debt. That’s about double the amount a typical white student rents.

In addition to providing increased financial support for students, many black colleges are using federal pandemic funding to help students earn income, provide subsidized child care, and buy computers. Consider creating a campus co-op job that can help students afford a fast internet connection.

At the show, authorities hope for new national interests in historic black colleges, and their role must be to choose between renewing buildings, closing programs, or keeping tuition affordable for students. This could boost enthusiasm for schools with much smaller funds that needed to be made.

More than 80% of the show’s undergraduate students are Federal Pell Grant qualifiers, compared to about 45% of Howard’s students. But the school’s financial director, Bird, said this is also where the university has influenced over the past century and a half. That is, providing low-income students with the tools they need to find and succeed in their careers.

He said it was “really hard to predict” how long it would take the university to recover from the pandemic. His finances are mainly dependent on tuition fees and donations, but enrollment numbers fell almost 53% between 2010 and 2019. He spoke of the need for continued federal bailouts or private donations to small schools.

“People want our documents for free. We have had a strong track record of educating certain types of children for 150 years, ”says Bird. “So it’s not really a distribution. It is an investment.


Hudspeth Blackburn was reported from Louisville, Kentucky. Fen reported from New York.


Hudspeth Blackburn is a member of the Associated Press / Report for America Statehouse News Initiative corps. Report for America is a national, nonprofit service program that places reporters in the local newsroom to report on unreported issues.

Praise and Funding Distributed Unevenly Among Black Colleges – WJET / WFXP /

Praise and Funding Distributed Unevenly Among Black Colleges – WJET / WFXP /

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