Is an HBCU right for you?

Taylor Benham, Writer

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Many Cartersville High students are currently involved in the college application process. Seniors (and Juniors) are taking entrance exams, writing essays, and touring college campuses. College choice is incredibly important to your future. That being said, HBCUs are often overlooked as college options.

HBCUs are a source of accomplishment and great pride for the African American community, as well as the entire nation. The Higher Education Act of 1965, as amended, defines an HBCU as any historically black college or university that was established prior to 1964.  

HBCUs offer all students, regardless of race, an opportunity to develop their skills and talents. A few HBCUs are Spelman College in Atlanta, GA, Howard University in Washington, DC, Hampton University in Hampton, VA, Morehouse College and Xavier University of Louisiana.  

HBCUs are public research universities, making advancements in areas ranging from medicine to agriculture. They are also elite liberal arts colleges, preparing students for graduate study and professional careers. Some are religious, others are secular.  

There are 101 HBCUs in the United States today, including private and public. The first public HBCU, Cheney University in Pennsylvania was established in 1837. It was also known as the Institute for Colored Youth. Many other HBCUs are the first in different categories around the United States and have high names not only in African American history, but American history as well.  

If you are considering attending an HBCU, specific factors to take into account are: location, cost, size, and academic program offerings. As a student, having over 100 HBCU’s to choose from means you have access to a variety of degree programs and academic options. It means you can look for an institution that best fits your career and academic needs.  

Even though the process of correctly submitting your college application may seem complicated, a little attention and organization can go a long way. The following tips will set you up for success. 

  • Start early.
  • Beat the deadline. 
  • Early decision versus early action.
  • Be consistent. 
  • Use a separate e-mail.
  • Other suggestions may vary... 

If you are looking into colleges or private schools, do not let HBCUs go unnoticed. There are some amazing experiences and plenty of options to choose from.  Even if you are not an African American, your nearest HBCU might just be the university or private school for you.