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Advantages of Attending an Historically Black College or University

Whether or not to attend an Historically Black College or University (HBCU) may be among the questions you have as you decide which school is best for you and many other factors related to your education and your future. HBCUs are institutions of higher learning established after 1964 with the goal of serving the educational needs of the black community, though many of the 105 HBCUs in the United States today are quite racially diverse, and some even now have a majority white student body. Still, many students, particularly African Americans, find many advantages to attending an HBCU with their cultural and historical heritage as a foundation for community. Let's take a look at some of these advantages

History, Legacy, and Community

Many students find attending HBCUs to offer a connected community of students who share similar cultural backgrounds and heritage. This can form the basis of strong professional and personal bonds that many students seek when they go to college.

African American Experience in Class

The African American experience throughout the history of the United States is unique to be sure, and some aspects of this experience -- it's breadth and depth and details -- may only be found in the coursework and unique nature of attending an HBCU. Students for whom this aspect of their college experience is very important may find the courses offered at HBCUs to be a particular draw to enrollment.

Supportive Environment at HBCUs Leads to Success

HBCUs are well known for being very supportive of students and their success, from the community atmosphere of the student body to the scholastic and professional guidance provided by teaching assistants and professors. Black students attending HBCUs have a high success rate: According to the National Association of Historically Black Colleges and Universities, HBCUs have a 75 percent higher graduation rate for their African American students than non-HBCU institutions. In addition, over half of all African American professionals are graduates of HBCUs.

If you're considering an HBCU, be sure to visit the campus and speak with the students and faculty, just as you would at any other school you may consider. Get a feel for the environment and see if it suits you. If it does, the advantages of attending an HBCU may very well be all the reason you need to apply. And if you need ideas about which schools to look into, see our list of Historically Black Colleges and Universities in the United States.

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