Black Colleges

     In the world we live in today a person can almost choose any college or
university they want to to continue their education upon graduation from high
school. It really doesn't matter if it is a four year, two year, or technical
school, there is a school for any person in any major. What draws a person to
attend one certain kind of school compared to another? In this case why is there
an increase in Black students attending Black colleges in the past decade? One
might say, "Well how can you tell that more students are getting into these
colleges, rather than these schools accepting an increased number of students
each year?" These are all important questions to ask, and there are
numerous reasons and causes for schools to increase the number of students they
allow and the number of students wanting to attend these colleges. I have an
older brother and an older sister who both attend a historically black college (HBCU),

Central State University in Wlberforce, Ohio. I have always had a lifelong dream
of attending an HBCU. In fact I was accepted to both Virginia Union in Richmond
and North Carolina A&T in Greensboro before I was accepted into Wright State

University. My main reason for wanting to attend these schools was the history
that they have and the way they made me feel when I went for visits. Those are
my personal reasons for wanting to attend these schools, but there are more than
personal reasons people are starting to have a higher interest in attending
these schools. Lowery 2 For the past three years my church back home in Columbus
has held an annual Black College Tour. It is designed to garner the interest of
the young people at my church and all around Columbus in HBCU's. I was a student
the first year and a chaperone the last two. In visiting these schools one can
find that the administration at these colleges and universities do anything they
can to get you admitted to these schools. Almost all of them are rated among the
best schools in the nation, too. These are no small time schools. Some students
are finding it easier to go to HBCU's because of the recent Supreme Court
rulings on Affirmative Action. They feel that it will be harder for them to have
an equal chance of being accepted to non Black colleges and universities. Most
of those people don't want to put up with all the mess that goes on in those
universities today, where even still, in 1997, people are admitted because of
physical appearances and not mental capabilities ("Straight Talk" 122

123). Speaking in those terms people just do not want to deal with downright
racism. Some HBCU's in areas with lots of non Black colleges usually have
increased enrollment due to past histories and events that happened at the
schools. An example was in Florida in 1988. Incidents of racism on the major

White college campuses caused a 19 percent increase at Florida A&M

University in Tallahassee, another HBCU. It was recorded as the largest increase
in enrollment of any of the colleges in the state. Of the 1,876 coeds in the
system, 1,327 were enrolled at Florida A&M, while the other universities
enrolled the rest ("Racism" 22). Even now Florida A&M has
increased enrollment at the school. They reported about 100 more freshman in
this year's class than last year's (Geraghty A46). There are some students who
are starting to attend HBCU's because of their feeling of deprivation of black
culture in their lives. In an article in The Lowery 3 Black Collegian last year,
a young man, only referring to himself as "The Invisible Man" to
readers, wrote to the editor about attending an HBCU after having gone to
predominantly White schools all of his life. He chose to attend a Black school
because, "I felt very intimidated by my ignorance of Black history,
culture, language, and everything else that I have missed in my previous
education" (qtd. in Parker 21). After attending his first semester in
school, "Invisible Man" found he was what he called a "Cultural

Zombie." He chose to stay at the school to educate himself about the
culture that he was left in the cold by his family. He says his family is Black,
but never emphasized being black and the culture that comes with it. One thing
he say's he has learned from his unnamed school is who he is and his role as an

African American male (Parker 21). The one main cause for increased enrollment
in HBCU"s is the attention students get from people they feel understand
them. Most Black colleges have that "hospitality factor" that a person
can"t get on a bigger campus. Even the bigger Black universities recognize
this helps students achieve better. Black students are beginning to realize that
the students who attend these colleges display greater gains in academic
achievement, higher rates of Bachelor's Degree attainment, greater social
integration, and higher occupational aspirations than those Black students who
attend predominantly White institutions. Blacks at HBCU"s report being
accepted, encouraged, and engaged in all aspects of campus life, unlike Black
students on White campuses, who report often feeling alienated and marginal
(McDonough 10). An example of the "hospitality factor" I referred to
earlier is from a tiny Black school in east Texas called Jarvis Christian

School. In an article in The Chronicle of Higher Education, Pam Taylor, a senior
at the school said, "If Lowery 4 your discouraged and you don't know if you
can keep going your teachers are there to pick you up" (Managan A8).
"I've got spring fever bad right now, and I can call my teacher and
she"ll talk me into getting to class. I can talk to her about anything
schoolwork, men, anything," she continued (Managan A8). It does not happen
just when you get there either. Administrators at Tennessee State and Florida

A&M say that an important technique in keeping their enrollment numbers up
has been to call students who have been admitted and talk to them about what the
university has to offer (Geraghty A46). Even though HBCU's represent less than 4
percent of all U.S. colleges, they enroll 20 percent of all Black undergraduates
and present about 33 percent of all African American Baccalaureate degrees. All
of this despite predictions in the 1960's that improved access at predominantly

White schools would indicate the end of HBCU's. Enrollments at these schools has
been consistently up since 1976, and in the period between 1987 1991 alone,

Black college enrollment rose about 10,000 students per year (McDonough 10 11).

All of this goes to show that because of social, political, and economic causes
in the world today, these figures are tiny compared to what's projected to
happen. And as more and more Black students become aware of what these colleges
have to offer them, whether it be personal or financial, some of these
predominantly White schools will be aching for Black students, from which we
might see the beginning of a new trend, the plan to terminate or try to totally
segregate Historically Black Colleges and Universities. Lowery 5 Brian Lowery

Lowery 1 May 7, 1997 Kennedy Eng. 102 05 The Increase in Enrollment in

Historically Black Colleges and Universities In the world we live in today a
person can almost choose any college or university they want to to continue
their education upon graduation from high school. It really doesn't matter if it
is a four year, two year, or technical school, there is a school for any person
in any major. What draws a person to attend one certain kind of school compared
to another? In this case why is there an increase in Black students attending

Black colleges in the past decade? One might say, "Well how can you tell
that more students are getting into these colleges, rather than these schools
accepting an increased number of students each year?" These are all
important questions to ask, and there are numerous reasons and causes for
schools to increase the number of students they allow and the number of students
wanting to attend these colleges. I have an older brother and an older sister
who both attend a historically black college (HBCU), Central State University in

Wlberforce, Ohio. I have always had a lifelong dream of attending an HBCU. In
fact I was accepted to both Virginia Union in Richmond and North Carolina

A&T in Greensboro before I was accepted into Wright State University. My
main reason for wanting to attend these schools was the history that they have
and the way they made me feel when I went for visits. Those are my personal
reasons for wanting to attend these schools, but there are more than personal
reasons people are starting to have a higher interest in attending these
schools. Lowery 2 For the past three years my church back home in Columbus has
held an annual Black College Tour. It is designed to garner the interest of the
young people at my church and all around Columbus in HBCU's. I was a student the
first year and a chaperone the last two. In visiting these schools one can find
that the administration at these colleges and universities do anything they can
to get you admitted to these schools. Almost all of them are rated among the
best schools in the nation, too. These are no small time schools. Some students
are finding it easier to go to HBCU's because of the recent Supreme Court
rulings on Affirmative Action. They feel that it will be harder for them to have
an equal chance of being accepted to non Black colleges and universities. Most
of those people don't want to put up with all the mess that goes on in those
universities today, where even still, in 1997, people are admitted because of
physical appearances and not mental capabilities ("Straight Talk" 122

123). Speaking in those terms people just do not want to deal with downright
racism. Some HBCU's in areas with lots of non Black colleges usually have
increased enrollment due to past histories and events that happened at the
schools. An example was in Florida in 1988. Incidents of racism on the major

White college campuses caused a 19 percent increase at Florida A&M

University in Tallahassee, another HBCU. It was recorded as the largest increase
in enrollment of any of the colleges in the state. Of the 1,876 coeds in the
system, 1,327 were enrolled at Florida A&M, while the other universities
enrolled the rest ("Racism" 22). Even now Florida A&M has
increased enrollment at the school. They reported about 100 more freshman in
this year's class than last year's (Geraghty A46). There are some students who
are starting to attend HBCU's because of their feeling of deprivation of black
culture in their lives. In an article in The Lowery 3 Black Collegian last year,
a young man, only referring to himself as "The Invisible Man" to
readers, wrote to the editor about attending an HBCU after having gone to
predominantly White schools all of his life. He chose to attend a Black school
because, "I felt very intimidated by my ignorance of Black history,
culture, language, and everything else that I have missed in my previous
education" (qtd. in Parker 21). After attending his first semester in
school, "Invisible Man" found he was what he called a "Cultural

Zombie." He chose to stay at the school to educate himself about the
culture that he was left in the cold by his family. He says his family is Black,
but never emphasized being black and the culture that comes with it. One thing
he say's he has learned from his unnamed school is who he is and his role as an

African American male (Parker 21). The one main cause for increased enrollment
in HBCU"s is the attention students get from people they feel understand
them. Most Black colleges have that "hospitality factor" that a person
can"t get on a bigger campus. Even the bigger Black universities recognize
this helps students achieve better. Black students are beginning to realize that
the students who attend these colleges display greater gains in academic
achievement, higher rates of Bachelor's Degree attainment, greater social
integration, and higher occupational aspirations than those Black students who
attend predominantly White institutions. Blacks at HBCU"s report being
accepted, encouraged, and engaged in all aspects of campus life, unlike Black
students on White campuses, who report often feeling alienated and marginal
(McDonough 10). An example of the "hospitality factor" I referred to
earlier is from a tiny Black school in east Texas called Jarvis Christian

School. In an article in The Chronicle of Higher Education, Pam Taylor, a senior
at the school said, "If Lowery 4 your discouraged and you don't know if you
can keep going your teachers are there to pick you up" (Managan A8).
"I've got spring fever bad right now, and I can call my teacher and
she"ll talk me into getting to class. I can talk to her about anything
schoolwork, men, anything," she continued (Managan A8). It does not happen
just when you get there either. Administrators at Tennessee State and Florida

A&M say that an important technique in keeping their enrollment numbers up
has been to call students who have been admitted and talk to them about what the
university has to offer (Geraghty A46). Even though HBCU's represent less than 4
percent of all U.S. colleges, they enroll 20 percent of all Black undergraduates
and present about 33 percent of all African American Baccalaureate degrees. All
of this despite predictions in the 1960's that improved access at predominantly

White schools would indicate the end of HBCU's. Enrollments at these schools has
been consistently up since 1976, and in the period between 1987 1991 alone,

Black college enrollment rose about 10,000 students per year (McDonough 10 11).

All of this goes to show that because of social, political, and economic causes
in the world today, these figures are tiny compared to what's projected to
happen. And as more and more Black students become aware of what these colleges
have to offer them, whether it be personal or financial, some of these
predominantly White schools will be aching for Black students, from which we
might see the beginning of a new trend, the plan to terminate or try to totally
segregate Historically Black Colleges and Universities. Lowery 5 Works Cited

McDonough, Patricia M., Anthony Lising Antonio, James W. Trent. "Black

Students, Black Colleges: An African American College." Journal For a Just
& Caring Education. January 1997: 9 36 Geraghty, Mary. "On Campuses

Coast to Coast, Trends In Freshman Enrollment Vary Widely This Fall." The

Chronicle of Higher Education. 20 October 1996: A46 Mangan, Katherine S.
"Turnabout at a College In East Texas." The Chronicle of Higher

Education. 6 February 1996: A8 Parker, Linda Bates. "Campus Advisor Helps

Invisible Man." Black Collegian. October 1996: 21 22 "Straight Talk

From the Top: Presidential Candidates Answer Tough Questions...." Black

Collegian. October 1996: 128 "Racism on White Campuses Boosts Enrollment at

FAMU."

Bibliography

McDonough, Patricia M., Anthony Lising Antonio, James W. Trent. "Black

Students, Black Colleges: An African American College." Journal For a Just
& Caring Education. January 1997: 9 36 Geraghty, Mary. "On Campuses

Coast to Coast, Trends In Freshman Enrollment Vary Widely This Fall." The

Chronicle of Higher Education. 20 October 1996: A46 Mangan, Katherine S.
"Turnabout at a College In East Texas." The Chronicle of Higher

Education. 6 February 1996: A8 Parker, Linda Bates. "Campus Advisor Helps

Invisible Man." Black Collegian. October 1996: 21 22 "Straight Talk

From the Top: Presidential Candidates Answer Tough Questions...." Black

Collegian. October 1996: 128 "Racism on White Campuses Boosts Enrollment at

FAMU." Jet. 21 November 1988: 22