Black Excel: The College Help Network


We often present our "Twelve Things Students, Parents and Counselors Should Know" as part of our get-aquainted counseling package. Our experience has been that large numbers of aspiring African-American college students (wherever they choose to go) often ask questions about Historically Black Colleges. Many want a total overview of the college scene, and we have noted over the years a sizable "crossover" in submitting applications. For example, students we have worked with may apply to HBCUs like Spelman and Morehouse while also applying to colleges like Cornell and Georgia Tech. For us, the key is to present folks with as many informative resources as possible to look at. We offer the contribution below as a resource for counselors and everyone else.

                                 -Isaac Black
                                                                                       Founder, Black Excel

 Twelve Things Students, Parents and Counselors Should Know
                                About Historically Black Colleges

                           (A Resource for Students of Color )

(1) Xavier University of Louisiana (an Historically Black College) has sent more African-American Students to medical school in the last several years than any other college in the US, including schools like Harvard, Stanford and Yale.

(2) Florida A & M University (another Historically Black College) has had an impressive run of enrolling more National Achievement Scholars to its school than the "ranked" major colleges and Universities.  FAMU ranked first in 1992, 1995 and 1996, each time beating Harvard.  FAMU has also placed 2nd and 3rd in recent years, and been among the Nation's top five recruiters since 1988.

FAMU ranked first in 1992, 1995 and 1996, each time beating Harvard. FAMU has also placed second and third in recent years, and been among the nation's top five recruiters since 1988.

(The Princeton Review and Time magazine named Florida A&M, "College of the Year" in 1997. FAMU was selected not because it is the best but because this school has been "trying new ideas and, by making them work, advancing the cause of higher education.")

(3) The majority of African-American students, perhaps 80%, attend mainstream or traditionally white colleges. Still, the Historically Black Colleges (while enrolling only about 20% of our students) award approximately one third of all bachelors degrees in the US.

(4) "At the time of the Harlem Renaissance in the 1920s, 10,000 blacks--1 in 1,000--were college educated. Today, more than 2 million African-Americans--11% of the  population--hold a college degree," (a recent quote from The Journal of Blacks in Higher Education).

(5) Tuskegee University (founded by Booker T. Washington) is the only Historically Black University offering a doctorate in veterinary medicine. This school has graduated over 80% of the nation's African Americans holding a DVM.

(6) In the past, Howard University used to be referred to as "the Black Harvard." It has graduated more African-American lawyers, doctors and PhD's than any other school.

(More than 70% of the Black physicians and dentists in the US graduated from HBCUs. At present, nearly 43% of the African Americans enrolled in medical schools in the United States are enrolled at three historically Black institutions: Howard University, Meharry Medical College and Morehouse schools of Medicine.)

(7) Florida A&M's College of Pharmacy has trained a quarter of all African-American pharmacists in the United States.

(8) "Blacks in the United States with no better than a high school diploma have a median income of $13,878. But blacks with a college degree improve their income by 119 percent, to $30,453." -Theodore Cross, commenting in a 1997 JBHE article.

(9) There are four Historically Black Colleges with law schools: Howard, Texas Southern, North Carolina Central and Southern universities. Approximately 1,300 of the enrolled each year are African Americans. The schools annually enroll about 13% of our law students nationwide.

(10) Writer John Simons (referring to a national study on sports) wrote: "66 percent of all African-American males between the ages of 13 and 18 believe that they can earn a living playing professional sports." What does he say the odds are of that happening? 10,000 to 1. Fewer than 1% of high school varsity players will win scholarships to college. Out of each lucky 100, only one will play pro ball, according to Darcy Frey, author of The Last Shot.

(11) Former "Sista President" of Spelman College, spearheaded a funding raising campaign in 1996 that garnered $114 million dollars, lifting the school into the elite fundraising company of other liberal arts colleges like Bryn Mawr ($92 million) and Mount Holyoke ($139 million). Of the school's alumnae, 77 contributed $10,000 or more to reach 1.4 million to booster the final total. This alumnae effort set a new mark for an Historically Black College.

(12) From 1984 to 1994, African-American enrollment increased by 28% at Historically Black Colleges--from 180,000 students to over 230,000. The total is now near 270,300.

(In the last report we looked at (1997), Black student enrollment had increased 3%, to 1,551,044, at all colleges across the US.)

"Twelve Things" resource is provided by:
Isaac Black, Founder
Black Excel: The College Help Network