Keep an Open Mind about HBCU’s

It’s April, and we are in the midst of the season when high school seniors and their families are making decisions about their college choice. I want to implore you not to overlook or exclude Historically Black Colleges and Universities. Especially those parents and family members that may not have attended HBCUs and may be under the assumption that these institutions cannot have the resources to help your student get to the next level. Yes, many of these institutions don’t have the same physical plants in comparison to many of their PWI counterparts or may not offer the same financial aid packages, but what HBCUs can offer is a space for your child to be accepted for who they are, an opportunity to connect with others who share their many of similar lived experiences, certify them with the universally accepted “Black card” and most of all, provide them with one of the most underrated life skills: hustle

However you define it, at the root, hustle is about taking action. It’s the ability to navigate circumstances and make the most out of a situation regardless of resources. Yes, while many of us want to make clear and concise life plans for our children, we also should want them to “figure it out” during these critical 18-22 years of age, and nothing forces them to do this more than going to college and more specifically, an HBCU that offer students more than just an education.

As you go through this process, please consider COST, LOCATION, ACADEMIC MAJORS, and CAREER OPTIONS, but also consider other factors like diversity and support systems and if it is a good fit for your student. While you may think a highly ranked school may provide the best opportunity for your student post-college, the name of a college and university does not guarantee success. And that is where we say we must “redefine success.” Vice President Kamala Harris went to Howard, Oprah Winfrey attended Tennessee State, Michael Strahan attended Texas Southern, and the only Black person in the history of our country who has a federal holiday went to Morehouse. Please tell me you know who that is.

I hear from parents who send their children to affluent, PWI independent schools that they want their child to attend an Ivy League institution. However, if that Ivy League institution does not accept their kid, why are we trying to force the issue? I am unsure where this narrative came from that success can only happen at Ivy’s or “top tier” PWIs. The fact that HBCUs are responsible for producing 80% of Black judges, 85% of Black doctors and 50% of Black lawyers, as well as the majority of Black PHDs should say enough. In my book, The Family’s Guide to College Admission: A Conversation About Education, Parenting and Race, my co-author Shereem Herndon-Brown and I highlight almost 100 highly successful Black colleges and include their collection of highly successful Black alums. You need this book.

So, to those of you making the decision over the next coming weeks and those of you who are preparing to begin the cycle as the parents, guardians, or school counselors of high school underclassmen, let’s not make assumptions about what we think is “best” for students strictly relies on reputation and rankings. There is more to this process than desiring a sweatshirt or bumper sticker. We owe our Black children more than our egos getting in the way of their elevation and excellence. Let’s encourage them to go to college where they will be celebrated, not tolerated, and give them the space, love, and support needed to thrive.

Related Posts

Related Articles

Princeton will enroll more transfer students starting this fall.