What are Some Advantages to Historically Black Universities?

Historically black universities and colleges are institutions of higher learning that cater to African American students. Also known by the term HBCU, these schools may admit a small number of white students and those from certain minority groups, but the majority of the student body come from backgrounds that are similar to your own. While you might prefer a college campus that has a more diverse student body, there are some great reasons to choose one of these schools and some big benefits of attending one too.

Lots of Support

One of the biggest reasons why students choose HBCU campuses is because they know the support available on those campuses. When you attend a college with a more diverse student body, you’ll likely find clubs that cater to students with specific hobbies and interests and few that appeal to minority students. An HBCU will often more clubs and activities designed for minority students. You’ll also find that these campuses offer more general support too. The professors teaching your classes and the students in those classes understand the hardships that you faced and the issues you may face in the future too.

Active Alumni

Attending a college with an active alumni base can help you find jobs after you graduate and internships while in school. Though historically black universities are often smaller than traditional colleges, this actually works in your favor. You can attend meetings that let you talk with former students working in your career field. Some colleges will even partner students with mentors in their chosen fields. Your mentor can help you pick the right classes to take, let you know when to apply for an internship and give you feedback about the clubs that you join. Alumni can also help you apply for jobs and internships in their own companies.

Financial Aid

Another top reason to attend an HBCU is because of the financial aid available. When you fill out the FAFSA, you can still qualify for loans and grants, but you may qualify for additional aid too. These schools often offer a number of scholarships for African American and minority students. Scholarships give you money that you can use to pay for your tuition and other expenses like textbooks, a new computer or room and board. You can check with the financial aid department of the college you want to attend about getting a scholarship application.

Smaller Class Sizes

A major college or university can have as many as 500 students sitting in the same lecture hall and listening to a TA talk instead of a professor. According to BET, a big advantage of going to an HBCU is the smaller class sizes. Those classes can have a ratio of as a few as 15 or even 10 students to every teacher. Instead of learning from a graduate student, you can learn from professors who have years of experience and a deep understanding of the subjects covered.

Attending an HBCU lets you learn from professors who have similar backgrounds and faced the same hardships as you over the course of their careers. These colleges can also help you meet with alumni who can assist you in finding jobs or landing internships. Minority students will find a number of other benefits associated with the top historically black universities.

See also: 50 Great Schools Where High School Students Can Get College Credit