HBCUs have not had the best of luck over the past 5 years. Starting in 2012 under the Obama Administration when federal loan policies changed making “it disproportionately harder for communities of color to quality for student and parent loans”, HBCUs have been hit hard with declining enrollment and small endowments. While some institutions like Howard University seem to be doing well, it is the average HBCU that has seen a steady decline. Now with a new administration, many hoped to build a better relationship with the federal government, but that hope is quickly decreasing.
Despite the negative future (for now), HBCUs are actually pillars in educating African Americans. According to PFI, “HBCUs are responsible for 23 percent of all undergraduate degrees earned by African Americans and produce 33 percent of all black STEM graduates” in today’s educational field. In addition, HBCU’s graduate;
- 18% of ALL engineering degrees earned by African American students;
- 31% of ALL biological science degrees earned by African American students;
- 31% of ALL mathematics degrees earned by African American students;
- 21% of ALL business and management degrees earned by African American students;
- 42% of ALL agricultural science degrees earned by African American students; and,
- 17% of ALL health profession degrees earned by African American students.
These numbers are amazing when you consider only 105 schools exist that meet the criteria, and that the endowment and support is minimal at best. So with institutions providing so much support for African Americans, in particular first generation low income blacks, why the lack of support?
Well it’s hard to say. HBCUs, whether fair or unfair, are not seen as advantageous to the overall growth of America’s education. This is despite the fact that HBCUs like Morehouse College account for the most black Rhodes Scholars and black males with doctorate degrees. Perhaps its the simply fact that people don’t know or that not enough research has been done to prove the benefit but whatever the case these colleges and universities need more support and their effectiveness is substantial.