On HBCUs, White House Moves From Disregard to Dismantling

Not so long ago, historically Black colleges and universities were just a thorn in the side of the Obama Administration. We will soon long for those days, because signs of the administrative shift from disregard to attempts at dismantling HBCUs, are growing in frequency and impact seemingly every year.

The Department of Education last week appropriated more than $171 million to colleges and universities nationwide to bolster college access and equity for low-income and minority students. Several dozens of colleges and universities received First in the World grants to increase S.T.E.M. professional development for minorities, or smaller grants aimed at supporting Alaskans, Native Americans, Pacific Islanders, African-Americans and Hispanics.

Of those dozens, just three HBCUs – Fayetteville State University, Hampton University and Prairie View A&M University, collectively received just over $3 million in federal support. Hampton’s FITW grant accounted for $3.5 million, while FSU and PVAMU received less than $250,000 each.

It would be easy to make the case that HBCUs should have received the lion’s share of the $171 million, but that would be doing HBCUs a great disservice in addressing their generational funding disparities. Howard University alone receives more than $230 million annual in federal support – a regrettably low number for the nation’s flagship institution serving the underserved and underrepresented, who typically fall into these categories after being marginalized by their race and/or economic status.

The White House has not matched resources with rhetoric, and its getting worse. For every HBCU Student All-Star that is named by the White House Initiative on HBCUs, there are hundreds of students denied the opportunity to matriculate or complete a degree at an HBCU due to a lack of financial aid. For every line of support for HBCUs and their students uttered by Education Secretary Arne Duncan, policy and funding consistently makes him, and those who echo his sentiments, liars.

For every chart made by federal officials illustrating HBCU incompetence, mismanagement and waste at administrative levels, several charts which could show the ties between funding disparities and severe understaffing and inadequate technology infrastructure for HBCU operations go unmade. The disparities have existed since the inception of the HBCU concept, but for the first time in history, we have had to reconcile the dissonance of typical HBCU neglect with a president of our hue, our voice and our generational dreams.

To be fair, it hasn’t been easy for President Obama, either. It was just a few years ago that he faced the peculiar task of having to show support for HBCUs, without giving his political enemies the impression that the Black president was being unnecessarily favorable to Black colleges. Obama, who did not grow up near, attend or work in any region with any Black colleges, was forced early into realizing that HBCUs were a dormant, yet powerful piece of mobilizing key allies in the Congressional Black Caucus and blue states for support of his most urgent issues.

He worked hard to feign concern for Black colleges, despite having no one on his cabinet, no one in his inner circle, with any ties to or experience with Black colleges. He navigated it well by using the adoration of Black students and leaders earned from his historic election, floating a carefully crafted myth about increases in federal loans to low-income students and calling it additional support for HBCUs, done by way of a willing salesman in then-White House Initiative on HBCUs Executive Director and current Morehouse College President, John Silvanus Wilson.

But the president couldn’t hide his coolness towards HBCUs for long. Before his first term could end, his Department of Education orchestrated and authorized the great Pell Grant/PLUS Loan debacle of 2011. Two years later, he announced plans to tie federal aid funding to a new rating system, one which will punish schools for low graduation rates, student loan defaults, alumni employment rates, and other measures which fly in the face of the HBCU mission and profile.

And here is the latest sign that the highest offices in the nation do not want HBCUs around – millions of dollars going out in an effort to stimulate innovation and opportunities to every type of school except those where the funding is needed most, and, according to data, where the dollars would be best spent.

The other side of this equation has been the easy out given to the Obama Administration with the growing movement towards support for Minority Serving Institutions, or, MSIs. Three little letters are overtaking the Big Four in the attention and support from federal and state resources, with eager legislators quick to find a way out of funding Black colleges but not taking support away from minority students.

The ironies of this movement? The hub for the research and talking points on MSI support is based at a northern, highly selective white institution, with most of its work centering on the outcomes and examples of excellence based at Black colleges. And yet, these same colleges, which totally fit the MSI billing, have found no traction from the center to advance the national HBCU narrative, or secure transformative funding for a historically Black campus from federal sources.

In the end, there aren’t enough HBCU students to boycott or march for long enough to reverse this trend. There isn’t enough wealth among HBCU graduates to stand in the gaps opened wide by federal and state neglect. And HBCU leaders have yet to figure out how to plead their own cases for existence through Black media.

At all levels, we’re all screwed up. And the people at the very top of political and financial food chains who know well our own lack of passion, knowledge, involvement or power to change the course of our institutions, are ready to deal the final death blows to our timeless institutions.


75 thoughts on “On HBCUs, White House Moves From Disregard to Dismantling

  1. We need to stop looking to the government to solve our problems. HBCU’s need to realize that the big wizard is not coming.

    1. I agree that the government should not do for HBCUs what HBCUs cannot do for themselves, but what they cannot do is erase generational discrimination, stereotype threat and economic disparities which persist to this day. To this end, if the government is sincere in making the nation the most innovative and productive in the world, it should be true to its ‘all hands on deck’ mantra and fund black colleges appropriately to achieve this goal.

      1. Obama cannot close this university. everyone should get the chance to study and later the society will enjoy the sweet fruit of that. And that is also a way to show every children of all race, you can become something and everything you would like to. America should stop interfere abroad and invest also less in Weapons, and put that money and string in this young black children and hispanics,and invest in the youth and stop that racial discrimination to blacks and others. But most towards blacks. I’m a afro Dutch woman, but i’m so dissappointed in that system, among others,Obama and the black church also who are misleading our people.The Church should take their responsability and go to talk with every one, especially the one who are in charge.One more time the black men should invest more in their own people and the school. and the youth should stop singing nonsence, like nigger this and nigger and nigger bitch. Because is the black woman is looking after them, and when they become something, they run to the white pigs, that call them also nigger when she is annoyed..Our people steel do have problems.They should work more on that condencending,slave mentallity.and be more proud of themself and their black family. From young age we should teach our children that. instead of looking up to all others races who hate us,but they are not even better than us. I love you all. From the Netherlands, A black woman

  2. I agree we cannot look to Govment to solve a lot of the problems with HBCU’s however the Goverment does need to realize the role and necessity of HBCU’s and put the money into them. Putting money into PWI for education minority and low income students. REALLY!!! Education minority and low income students is why HBCU were founded. Again REALLY!!!

  3. Considering his educational and family background I question if the President has a sense of legacy relative to HBCUs. The HBCU experience, historical AA middle class connection and generational organizations that are fundamental to HBCUs are just as foreign to Mr. Obama, Esq. as they are to any other person who attended Punahou School, Occidental College, and Harvard Law School! And are probably very alien to his POV about education in general. He may even view the HBCU as a through back and hold back in the “new world order”. Just a thought!

  4. This wholesale blind support and adoration for the Obamas needs to STOP. If they are not lecturing to Black people about some dysfunction then they are attacking and undercutting the financial stability of HBCUs. What’s needed by all HBCU Alumni Associations is pressure on their elected officials, support for the Congressional Black Caucus because they were the first to call Obama out on his lackluster treatment of our institutions, and direct pressure on the Democratic party to make immediate changes at the US Department of Education. We have the evidence of funding being directed AWAY from HBCUs. Now we need to stop talking and leverage our votes, support for other Democratic legislation and money to get what our schools need in the way of government funding. Our support and votes are being used and taken for granted. We need to stop this now

  5. One question I would ask of the author is how many HBCU schools applied?
    How many were denied in the percentage of of non-HBCUs?

    What were the qualifications of these grants and how many HBCU’s met those qualifications v. Non-HBCUs?

    1. Across all 100 HBCUs that qualify for federal funds, this is the average amount of annual revenue they receive from competitive and noncompetitive grants and contracts from federal, state and local governments:
      $11.9 million from the federal government
      $1.3 million from state governments
      $561 thousand from local governments

      This does not include federal student aid or the annual federal appropriation to Howard University.

      Money flows from the federal government to HBCUs through Title III, Title IV and competitive grants and contracts across 32 federal agencies and hundreds of divisions. Depending on a myriad of factors, any one of the many streams of money can increase or decrease.

      HBCUs do depend on the federal government for survival and I don’t see that changing anytime soon. Especially as state government decrease their support. What HBCUs need are people who take the time to find out about the many opportunities they have to maximize the revenue they receive from and outside of the federal government.

      I do find this article defeatist, misleading, hyperbolic and not helpful to the hundreds of career federal employees and President Obama appointees who spend long days fighting within a large and complex system to create opportunities for HBCUs. HBCUs are exemplars of excellence, not hapless victims of a tyrannical government as this article suggest.

      The White House Initiative on HBCUs under the directorship of Dr. George Cooper is optimistic about the future of HBCUs because of the dedicated university leaders that we work with and the vision of President Obama’s administration.

      The needs of HBCUs are very nuanced, and HBCUs are very diverse, with some being major hubs of innovation, and other barely hanging on to accreditation. We stand ready to work with anyone who wants to work for HBCUs

      1. Dr. Toldson, I’m not sure if you are suggesting that HBCUs receive an equitable amount of support from federal agencies and appropriations, or if you are saying they have not been harmed by historic and contemporary disparities. In either case, saying the situation is complex does little to increase funding, or reduce the clear picture the Dept. of Ed and administration has painted as the HBCU narrative through funding and opportunity.

        I welcome the opportunity to publish any explanation you can offer as to why less than five percent of grants allotted in just the last week, awarded specifically to combat racial, socio-economic disparities in higher education went to schools with the longest and most substantive track record of fighting these disparities. And, why this is consistent with generations-long funding trends for black colleges. Thank you for reading, and for all you do for HBCUs.

      2. We can have that conversation with James Minor, Obama appointee and HBCU alum who administers the FITW competition. We need action from all stakeholders to increase access, but we will accomplish nothing through conspiracy theories. There is much work that needs to be done within ED, across HBCUs, and among advocates. No one is more committed to increases the percentage more than us. We are the ones in meetings, on the phone, and pounding the pavement. You should shadow us for a day.

      3. If you give me $100 yesterday, and $3 today, and I tell others that you only gave me $3 today… Is it a lie? And the White House “dismantling” HBCUs, what is that other than a conspiracy?

      4. Dr. Toldson, we both know that if HBCUs were fortunate to get $103 at any point, it was after years of fighting and begging, and well after PWIs had already received $1,300 over that period. As for dismantling, when the federal government funds predominantly white institutions to essentially build out their capacity to fill a mission already tested and proven at HBCUs, YOU tell me what that is?
        I will tell you, it is not a conspiracy – but a logical conclusion drawn by numbers the department is all too happy to provide and contort, to give a different narrative of commitment to HBCUs.

      5. And by the way – the argument of federal student aid being classified as institutional funding is insulting. Aid follows students whether they are at HBCUs or non-HBCUs. We both know that. We are not buying the rhetoric that because most students at HBCUs need loans for education, that it can be classified as some kind of federal appropriation to those schools.

      6. I simply clarified that the totals in reported did NOT include federal aid so the reader would not be confused.

      7. Also, if you think the “argument of federal student aid being classified as institutional funding is insulting” wouldn’t it also be insulting to suggest that changes in such programs is an attack on HBCUs.
        It can’t be correct to suggest that reducing federal student aid harms HBCUs, but expanding federal student aid is irrelevant to HBCUs.

      8. Federal aid is not an institutional appropriation. There is no debate there. What can be debated is limiting student access to federal funds by changing requirements, which overwhelmingly harms HBCUs which enroll students who need the loans, but now can’t make the requirements. It’s not difficult to understand – the federal government is paying other predominantly white institutions to do what HBCUs have always done, and for the students who primarily choose or who are benefited by attending HBCUs, aid is limited and thus, harmful to those institutions which are tuition dependent…because they’ve been historically underfunded at state and federal levels.

      9. My point, you can’t criticize anyone who touted the expansion of Pell as a boon to HBCUs, if you want to condemn reductions in PLUS as an attack on HBCUs. Personally I believe people can celebrate anything that befits HBCUs and condemn anything that hurts HBCUs.
        But it’s difficult to work with anyone whose obviously using negative confirmation bias and sensationalism when evaluating the current relationship between the federal government and HBCUs. You have presented information on one of hundreds of federal grants to prove that the White House is “dismantling.”

        The only way to explain the NUMBER 1 source of revenue to HBCUs, as a system that is “dismantling” it, is the be very manipulative in the way that you construct the narrative.

      10. The fact that loans are the primary source of revenue to any institution is frightening enough, but you left out the part about the eligibility changes to both Pell and PLUS programs. Which again, does not bode well in the favor of HBCUs or their students when compared to previous eligibility standards.
        After all, you don’t get a public apology from a sitting secretary of the Department of Education if the Department and WH administration were all in for HBCUs as they claim to be.

        The only sensational element of this dialog, is that you have not acknowledged the generationally glaring funding disparities between HBCUs and PWIs, which apparently, remains part of DOE policy based upon this latest round of grants for minority student support.

        We can debate the tenor of my commentary until we both grow weary of conversing with each other, or, you can present here in this space your best examples of HBCUs receiving any kind of equitable funding relative to their output of Black and minority professionals or their mission to serve and to power communities underserved along racial and economic lines. Or better yet, examples of the behind the scenes advocacy being done at federal agencies to foster this kind of equality.

        This is what the WHI is supposed to advocate for, and what the president has committed to producing in previous years. If the example exists, I will be the first to honor and celebrate it publicly.

      11. And one more thing – all of us are tax-paying citizens. The Federal Government isn’t doing us any favors by being the top funder to HBCUs – it is reinvesting dollars in to the communities and citizens that fund its very existence. And it isn’t doing an equitable job with our money, and we demand a better return on investment.

      12. Not sure about that. The loans are used to pay for tuition. The tuition should be set at a level to pay for operations. So I think the federal government has a point.

      13. That tuition revenue is not required to be paid out to HBCUs. It’s required to be paid to whichever school a student enrolls. It’s dishonest to suggest otherwise. The money was not earmarked for, or paid directly to HBCUs without the student saying ‘please pay tuition here on my behalf.’ When students transfer, the loans go with them. And don’t forget – when students default on loans, the government judges the enrolling institution as a party to their missed repayment obligation.

      14. Why should schools get money if they aren’t enrolling students? Sorry the government can’t run a jobs program for the black middle class or keep afloat HBCUs with dwindling student bodies. HBCUs either need to compete for students, grants or contracts

      15. Why continue to give foreign aid in billions to a Israel, Jordan, Egypt and others then?

    2. I think a better question is how many HBCUs are properly staffed, and sound enough to fulfill grant opportunities from federal agencies? It would be a shame to offer money to schools on the condition that certain benchmarks and deliverables can be met, knowing that these schools do not have the human, technological or capital resources to adequately meet grant requirements. Seemingly, a more progressive way to help HBCUs is similar to what the NCAA has proposed for low-resource institutions – tell us what you can do better, and we’ll fund the hiring and capacity upgrades to help you achieve your goals.
      But to your larger question on applications, here is an article that may provide some perspective on racial struggles across the board in obtaining funding in one agency. http://www.nytimes.com/2011/08/19/science/19nih.html?_r=0

      1. Great article, but doesn’t answer the questions I asked. I does answer the questions on another subject regarding Black scientist. This article you gave is well writing “apples to apples,” and thus I wish this article above included like stats.

      2. Sorry you have to have standards. It’s a shame some schools can meet them but you can’t have a free for all, especially with the government monies.

      3. I would also argue that if HBCUs are under budgeted and understaffed, that some of them scale down their operations in order to be more efficient and effective. — In other words, less is more. — They don’t necessarily have to be the biggest, but they can strive to be the best.
        Therefore, when people look at the stats, the number, and the accomplishments there would be no accuse. The goal should be to have the smartest students, and the most effective administration.

  6. As a graduate of an HBCU, I can say that the biggest problem I’ve encountered for financial misfortune is that the alumni to not reach back. We graduate with our degrees and our debt and don’t bother to make regular contributions to the very institution to which we owe our success. If we’re the Black elite and we’re not bothering to make strides toward paving the way for the next generation, then why is it rightful to expect that someone else will? These PWI state schools with their large endowments don’t seem to have a problem drawing on their intergenerational prestige to fund their yearly pledge campaigns.

    1. We graduate with our degrees and our debt and don’t bother to make regular contributions to the very institution to which we owe our success.

      If you’re in debt it’s kind of hard to give back don’t you think? The truth of the matter is that schools like Morehouse charge a lot in tuition but many of its students can’t earn enough income to pay the loans back. If you’re struggling to stay a float how can you make donations? Also some schools have high alumni engagement Spelman comes to mind.

      1. Why would one go to an expensive college if the return after completion isn’t greater than the initial investment?

      2. Many are first in their college or come from less than ideal circumstances. I was on my own navigating college and I had supportive parents. My parents are immigrants and simply didn’t know how the system really worked.

      3. I don’t buy it.

        I teach at an HBCU and the issue concerns lack of innovation in fundraising, low standards of customer service vis a vie the students, and lack of priorities on behalf of the students.

        I would dare to say that easily 50% of student population (at least at my institution) have a cell phone of some sort complete with data plan. Given the cost of cell phone plans, I have a hard time believing that a student cannot contribute even $60/year or $5/month to their institution.

        I also observe the lack of customer service extended to students. The antiquated processes (everything requiring paper forms and signatures), the frequently lost paper-work, and the negative attitude of a number staff and some faculty create a clear impression that the university doesn’t care about the students.

        Every year, I ask some of my students if they would consider donating to the university. Overwhelmingly the responses were “I would gladly donate to my department but won’t donate to the university because I don’t trust them to do the right thing with the money” and “the university didn’t care about me, so why should I care about them.”

        Alumni relations begins Freshman year by making better customer service. For example, why does it take a semester to get a simple air conditioner problem fixed. In the mean time, the classrooms are freezing in the winter and sweltering in the summer. Actually listening to students, taking seriously their concerns, and working to address them goes a long way.

        In addition, get students in a habit of supporting their university. When I was a senior just graduated, I had no money. The university called me and asked if I would kindly consider supporting the university in any way, even $5. I thought OK why not. I remembered how, when I was an undergrad and fell into a tight financial situation, the university cared about my with what they called, at the time, an emergency book loan. I didn’t have enough money for books, so the university let me borrow money to buy books and pay it off $20/week (I had a part time campus job) during the fall semester.

        The sentiment this created for me was that the university stuck by me when I needed it most so I gladly support them by giving annually.

        What happens at the HBCU where I work? Too bad then you don’t have books.

        I remember a student who had a $300/balance on their bill and was “Purged” or administratively kicked out from his classes. As an instructor, I let the kid attend my classes, loaned him a desk copy of the book, and continued to grade his homework, for the 2-weeks it took him to get the $300 paid off. Mine was the only class in which he did well because he was not 2-weeks behind in the material. Nobody else cared. Do you think this person will donate to the university? Absolutely not, because the university simply didn’t care to even try to work with him. He would gladly donate to my department because we cared.

        So, its not a money issue. It is a priorities issue and it is hard to convince someone to donate to an organization that they feel let them down when it counted most.

      4. Interesting … tell me this at what point in that “Black” student elementary education career were they taught that sort of responsibility and if none why expect such unusual behavior?

      5. I’m not disputing what you are saying, in fact I agree. However it is a documented fact that black students graduate with more debt than white students.

        I just don’t think you can say HBCU alums don’t care. Fisk alums have been instrumental in getting the school back on the right track for example.

      6. My main point about priorities is that often people will say “I don’t have money,” but gladly shell out $15/month for a data plan and, in the same breath, bemoan how their dear alma mater is struggling with low alumni donations. Its human nature that if one is motivated or cares deeply about something, they will find a way to support it.
        A 4-year college with 4000, graduates roughly 1,000 students per year. If 1,000 alums donated $5/month or $60/year that would mean $60K/year. The following year another 1,000 students graduates adding another $60K/year for a total of $120K/year. The next year $180K/year, then $200K/year, etc.

        Over a 10 year run this turns into $600K/year.
        Summing each year’s return over 10 years is $3.3M. So even a lowly $5/month makes a difference.

        My main point is that HBCU’s must work hard to give students a stronger reason to want to donate. This is not specific to HBCU’s, it is every college/university. I reference HBCU’s specifically as that is the topic of the article as well issues for which I have first hand experience.

      7. What does a phone plan have to do with anything? That is how students communicate with parents and the likes. A phone is a way of life. That is an unfair comparison. j/s

      8. My point with the phone plan example is that students will gladly prioritize and find an extra $15/month to add a data-plan, but can’t seem to find any money, even $5/month to donate.

        Students can communicate many different ways. You live in the dorm’s in close proximity with your friends. Having a data-plan is a big enough priority, but donating to the university is not.

        A phone is certainly NOT a way of life. A Data plan is certainly NOT a way of life.

        How is it that someone who claims not having any money can readily find an extra $15/month for phone plan but not $5/month to donate.
        If that is more important, that’s OK go ahead and support AT&T, Verizon, Sprint, etc. But when one’s beloved HBCU closes, there’s really no reason to feel sad because one chose to support the phone company.

        So, I submit that it is absolutely a fair comparison as it speaks to priorities.

        I donate to an HBCU even though I never attended one, because it is a priority to me.

      9. The “phone plan” is just an analogy used to illustrate an easy or automatic way to give back. Automatic debit could just have easily been used to illustrate the same point.

      10. I totally agree with Elbodega, as it relates to HBCU. My children attended. My son graduated from one, a well known one, and it was difficult to get the support he needed the ENTIRE time he was there. My daughter started out there, I finally took her out, her sophomore year. This particular school is struggling financially, due to alum’s not giving back, and I am sure it from frustrations while attending. For instance, withholding of financial means, student loans (Stafford loans) that the student apply for to sustain living expenses off campus and food. Both children ALWAYS received their funds the middle of the semester. WHY? Financial aid office personnel always unorganized, antiquated phone systems, different advisors every semester. Just totally frustrating. I put my daughter in a predominately white Juco, and she received her financial aid within 3 days. Why? Advisors on point to guide her, throughout her career path, until graduation. Professors that kept office hours ON CAMPUS. And HBCU’s wonder why they don’t receive dowry’s and the like. I can remember and entire freshman girls dorm had to move in a hotel due to mold. They constantly received huge checks during homecoming celebrations, I mean almost close to 1 million dollars, 800 thousand, etc., sometimes from corporations, and you never hear what they do with the money. And they swear they are #1 in the country. And will hold up registration for a student, over 200 or 300.00, when stealing is going on amongst the staff. I don’t get it. HBCU’s need to wake up. I hear most are in the same shape too. So over HBCU’s. Its embarrassing. I wouldn’t give back either.

  7. Interesting article. While I don’t subscribe to the belief that leaders don’t want HBCUs around, I do think the government funding apparatus should be questioned.

    If you are going to have a program that claims to address low income student funding and inequality gaps stands to reason HBCUs would be part of that mix.

    I think in general though the great college bubble is going to bust. People cannot spend a lot of money for mediocre outcomes. Also the sad truth is that many Black students are simply not college ready. They have low SAT scores which like it or not are correlated with outcomes post graduation. So there simply may not be enough black students around that will a.) choose to attend a HBCU. b.) graduate and c.) earn enough to service any debt and contribute back to the school.

    1. Then why do “Blacks” continue to champion these toxic public schools where quite obvious these Black students are not be prepared? I mean explain that.

      1. Good question. My theory is that a significant portion of the black middle class receives its largess from the educational system. Public schools are a big honey pot and are often the biggest or one of the biggest employers in black dominated cities. They also purchase a lot of supplies and services, since schools are arms of the government they are often bound by diversity supplier initiatives. Many so called black businesses rely on questionable contracts from public schools. A good documentary on this issue can be found on Youtube. It’s by Dan Rather and it focuses on the pathetic Detroit schools.

        It’s a big scam really. The education of children is at best a secondary concern to these people this is why I often tune them out.

      2. Interesting take on things ED! I never thought of it from that angle. I would also add that the NEA (or national teachers union) are big donors to Dems on both local and federal level. Obviously the teacher’s unions are against charter and voucher initiatives- even though thats exactly what our kids need a different choice. So at the end of the day its hard for a DEM to go against the teachers union- so we end up electing people who are going against our best interests- due solely to campaign contributions

  8. Obama was only put into office to reassure white folks that America has done enough for Blacks and it’s okay to do nothing for us and/or start taking away from us.
    I mean, why do you need Black colleges? Just go to regular colleges, right? {{-_-}}

  9. Until Blacks and black African-Americans start to produce “VIABLE” businesses problems like this and others will continue to persist. Depend too much on government for the wrong things. Also government and it foreign aid policy to countries like Israel, Jordan, Egypt and others need to stop or be drastically reduced to nothing at all. Does not Americans come first?

  10. HBCUs are “Black” in name only. The little dirty secret is that the majority of these institutions are white, Methodist controlled, with their board of directors majority white. They also control the curriculum on what is taught. It is no wonder there is little political consciousness and Afrocentric education available in these “schools.”
    Most of their outrageous costs is due to the fact that they many rely heavily on federal assistance, which most of these funds go to pay heavy overheads and professor salaries. their excessive cost for tuition has nothing to do with the quality of the education nor the quality of the professors.

    I believe that antebellum, post-slavery, euro-religious institutions of this type have long outlived their usefulness. Any real educational opportunity and development will have to be on the grassroots level, with Blacks supporting privately, Black controlled start-up colleges.

    1. So THIS is where all the “black elite” of America hang out?
      Just wanted to say ya’ll a bunch of lames! I mean honestly, you make your money and then you go to white communities and beg white people for jobs. No wonder these “N words” are running shit. At least in the white communities the elite whites invest back into THEIR communities and try to help their people.

      I’m disgusted with all of you mother fuckers.

      The next generation of elite blacks will show you bums how its supposed to be.

      1. Not quite. Those elite philanthropists are buying favor with grants to “communities of color” And global favor through laundering their money with ngo’s. Have u seen Appalachia and Cajun country lately? Investment indeed lol

      2. What about all the other white communities, businesses and institutions that take care of their own, that make sure their kids have the best schools, that make sure their kids have the access to the best careers and access to the loans etc. ? You want to ignore all of that and argue that my previous comment is invalid because there are a few rednecks here and there. Yeah okay man… what ever… whites don’t take care of their own… they all make money and then say “fuck the white community… they aint did shit for me anyways!” -_- … I think black men like you make these dumb comments because you want to be free from being accountable for not building a black economic base / infrastructure.

    2. I don’t know what HBCU you’re referring to but mine has a lot of pride and every subject I am tought it’s revlivent to me. The people who don’t see the relivence of HBCU are mostly non HBCU alum.

    3. A we have African culture classes as well and Eastern History and African History…..

  11. Everything on a systematic level is being collapsed as we know it that attaches itself with black people. As it has been said, BILLIONS of dollars are spent in the dismantling of our culture. And if any of our culture mimick or depend on the very bastards whose ancestors laid in bed with our ancestors for some slave exchanges then yeah, as an enemy to our growth and development since when did they EVER play outright fair? They only play fair with those they respect and it can’t be your whining ass human property EXPECTING for its oppressor or alleged master to ask to be taken care of without the system shoving their disgusted foot in our faces. Bottom line is the respect we’re looking for is not going to happen as comfortable as we are. We’re too comfortable for these luxuries we want ownership and privledge too. Prepare your grandchildren, children or perhaps our comfy asses…..bloodshed will sooner or later have to be an option before the last straw of us all on huge boats again in shackles to head back over East to develop Africa. Will we lay down and beg again? F*ck these HBCU’s and a culture that is not our own.

  12. The African Americans buying lotto tickets. And others using that to pay their child school tuition, off the poor and middle class.Enough funds is being allocated to low income families because people who have control of the money, gives it to who they feel needs it….who kind is that?

  13. If you cutt the hbcu’s out, cutt the lottery out too and Gmc, ford, and whoever else borrow money from the bailout. Bailout out the students too, students borrow just like these major companies do.

  14. I hold no degree nor have I ever attended a HBCU. Although I have no formal eduction from a “HBCU,” I consider myself an experienced black student. I will attempt to be as objective as possible although the situation is quite complex atleast for those who believe our government wants to educate the very people they have oppressed. So I ask that you reads this in an objective manner free of buercreatic noise and conspiring whispers.Example 1: In the supreme court case of knight v. Alabama, the state of alabama used discriminating procedures inorder to allocate funding to institutions of higher learning; which more importantly took two decades to resolve. The actual importance of that case is not in the renovation money awarded but in the lenghth it took the federal goverment to identify there was a problem with extremely obvious policies. Example 2: The switch to a performance based funding procedure in neighboring states, creating an even larger magin. Policy (pen) whipping, these new policies tear away at the integrity of the HBCU’s especially those with low enrollment creating a larger percentage of under performing students. Final example(Most important). We’re black they dont need us acquiring knowledge and thinking for ourselves. Pretty soon we’ll be living without assistance, our people will once again be respected, and we’ll have our own black nation thats our goverments greatest fear.

  15. All I can say is why am i not surprised? Although I did not graduate from an HBCU, I have friends and loved ones who have. And from one who is looking from the outside-in, this is time for us to do some soul searching.
    Unfortunately, HBCUs are turning into an anachronism. As one poster put it, they’ve outlived their usefulness; and in fact are quite conservative in their approach. No institution-regardless of ethnicity-cannot operate with a 1960s game plan in the 21st Century. And unlike back in the day, more and more Black people of note are graduating out of White institutions.

    To add fuel to this fire, it’s no secret (although many HBCU alumni probably wish it were) that many of these schools were founded-and initially funded-by Whites. I don’t know if it was altruism, guilt, or to keep us out of White institutions that these “benefactors” started these schools.

    Plus, look who we have in the Oval Office-it that doesn’t speak to this issue, nothing will. President Obama is an Ivy League alumnus; never darkened the doors of an HBCU in his college career. Also, look who the President hangs with on his off time-the Ivy League (predominately White) crowd up at Martha’s Vineyard. This is sad since many HCBU alumni, students and faculty voted the man into office both times. And if any of you think Obama’s going to send his girls to Spelman-or at least Howard-don’t hold your breath.

    It’s time for HBCUs to try a new tack to survive. Stop leaning so much on the “historic” and a little more on the progressive. Entertain fresh ideas and voices that might keep these schools alive. Be a little more liberal in your approach before you turn into museums.

    Also, reach out to those alumni who made it in the world-especially those who have means. Remind them of your impact in their lives and how it’s their turn to help. Learn crowdfunding and Kickstarter-quit looking to Uncle Sam to help. The UNCF Telethons are cute, but this calls for new thinking.

    Also, don’t look to the President as some great savior. He is who he is, and has made it clear where his priorities lay. He may be African-American, however his “Black” crowd is the one with money (think George Orwell).

    I know this is a lengthy post, and only touches the tip of the iceberg. However, if HBCUs plan to survive into the 21st Century, it is time to do some soul-searching and some radical thinking. Peace.

    1. I have read alot of articles about HBCU’s should get more funding, but my question is Why? Im pretty sure these 271 million in grants that were issued had rules and an application process. No one is going to give you money if you do not do what is required to earn it. Just like the president of southern wrote that letter to Dr Dre about his donation to USC. He didnt just up a write a check, USC more than likely reached out to his people with a detailed plan of what they wanted the money for and how they were going to spend it. If the leaders of our HBCU’s want grants and donations like that they should probably start doing the same and showing some financial accountability. Also, there is a problem when you make yourself feel like a victim when federal aid money is tied to things like graduation and employment rates. isnt that what college is for. If you cant show your students are graduating and getting jobs afterwards, why should the federal government or private industry continue to invest money in you, and with smaller and smaller proportions of the black population choosing to attend HBCU’s when they cant even make a case for their utility to their target demographic how are they going to make it to anyone else.

  16. Um, am I tripping or did he not appoint a graduate of 2 HBCUs as Surgeon General? I understand its not a cabinet level position but still…

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