Historically black universities draw new wave of students

Choosing Spelman, the historically black women’s college in Atlanta, was surprising for SeKai Parker, a student who had been determined to reach the Ivy League. Yale was one of 16 institutions, including three Ivies, competing for her to enrol. But her decision reflects a renaissance in recent years among the nation’s historically black colleges and universities, where their nurturing mission, increased funding and growing visibility have been drawing a new wave of students, writes Erica L Green for The New York Times.

Once the primary means for black Americans to get a college education, historically black colleges and universities, or HBCUs, now account for just 9% of such students. But top-tier HBCUs – long bastions of black excellence – as well as others are increasingly becoming the first choice for some of the nation’s most sought-after talent, according to interviews with dozens of students, guidance counsellors, admissions advisers and college officials across the country.

They belong to a generation whose adolescence was shaped not only by the election of the first black president but also by political and social strife that threatened the lives and liberties of black Americans. For many families, the embrace of historically black colleges has been influenced by concerns about racial hostility, students’ feelings of isolation in predominantly white schools and shifting views on what constitutes the pinnacle of higher education.
Full report on The New York Times site