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White and going to an HBCU?

OdeToArsenalOdeToArsenal Posts: 61Registered User Junior Member
edited March 2012 in College Life
Hello there.

I'm looking into colleges and one that keeps crossing my mind is Tennessee State University. For those that don't know, TSU is an HBCU. I am white.

I've heard that I can get a full ride or a lot of scholarship money because I am white, which certainly sounds interesting. However, I am feeling apprehensive about going because, well, I'd be part of a 5% demographic on a campus that's history is almost exclusively black.

If it weren't for the HBCU part, TSU would be at the top of my list. They have an AWESOME marching band, which is a big deal to me, it's pretty cheap, they have a music department and a music ed program, they have a pretty campus and they have a lot of history. Admissions aren't tight, which is a plus for me and I can live in Nashville, which is really intriguing.

My question is to you guys, if any of you have gone to an HBCU or taught at one or something, how are white students accepted? I'd live on campus at least the first year or two because my family lives in Murfreesboro and I would try to be as into stuff on campus as possible, joining the band, Phi Mu Alpha, intramurals, maybe working for the radio station, I'd be busy because I love being busy. Would I get any bad words or anything at me for attending? If I'm accepted well, I'll love it, but that's the only thing that makes me nervous.

Thanks for any replies.
Post edited by OdeToArsenal on

Replies to: White and going to an HBCU?

  • BananaSandwich15BananaSandwich15 Posts: 545Registered User Member
    I read an article in the paper about a year ago about a white guy who turned down columbia to do to an HBU. Apparently he was extremely popular and was the student body president or something.

    It was a good article. I'd venture to say you'd be as accepted as a black student at a mostly white school... which happens all the time. I think it’d be a good experience.
  • NorthstarmomNorthstarmom Posts: 24,853Registered User Senior Member
    I've taught journalism and have consulted at HBCUs. I also have friends who are white who have attended HBCUs. White students are accepted at HBCUs. This includes being in the marching bands, dance teams, editing school papers, etc. They encounter racism about as much as do black student on majority white campuses: i.e., rarely.

    One of the HBCUs where I worked had some white students who'd take some of my courses because the courses weren't available at their predominantly white school. Unfailingly, the white students praised the HBCUs' friendliness (such as the fact that students tend to speak to each other when passing by another student on campus, regardless of race) and accessibility and support of the professors. HBCUs are known for having professors who love to teach, and that's a big plus.
  • PlattsburghLoserPlattsburghLoser Posts: 5,487Registered User Senior Member
    Not helpful: but in one of the seasons of College Hill, there was a white guy who went Virginia-something-or-other that was an HBU and he didn't appear to be treated any differently. One of my best friends, whose Asian, goes to Spelman and she loves it there.

    It's highly unlikely that you would be treated any differently than if you went to any other college.

    Provided you aren't like "I Love New York's" Mr. Boston, you probably wouldn't receive much attention.
  • NorthstarmomNorthstarmom Posts: 24,853Registered User Senior Member
    By the way, I think that Tennessee State (Oprah's alma mater) is now majority white, as is the case of a couple of other HBCUs.
  • kelliebmkelliebm Posts: 455Registered User Member
    Northstarmom, collegeboard currently says TSU is 91% black and 5% white - pretty far from being majority white! haha although there definitely are some HBU's that are increasingly becoming more white.

    But anyways, I live in a really small state that only has 2 colleges with dorms - one of which is a HBU. I have a white friend who commutes there and really doesn't mind it at all, as he went there for the great scholarship and the academic opportunities. One of my best friends' boyfriend, who is also white, went to the same school because it is the only college in the state with a wrestling team. They are ditching the wrestling team this year due to budget cuts, but he isn't transferring - so I guess he must like it enough to stay.
  • House of LondonHouse of London Posts: 1,268- Senior Member
    I heard of a white guy who attended Morehouse college and ended up Valedictorian.

    White valedictorian: A first for historically black Morehouse - CNN.com
  • amanahillamanahill Posts: 120Registered User Junior Member
    OP don't be silly

    That is like me saying well I don't if i should go to U of Chicago it is a great school and everything but it is 4.5% black- which it really is

    or any other selective college which is most of the time majority anything but black

    see how silly that sounds, anyone in their right mind would say it doesn't matter go to u of c

    so i say to you it doesn't matter go to tsu and see how it feels to be a minority it will make you a better person if anything

    you will experience life as most minorities do in a mainly white college
  • BananaSandwich15BananaSandwich15 Posts: 545Registered User Member
    I think House of London's article is what i was thinking of
  • SingDanceRunLifeSingDanceRunLife Posts: 1,787Registered User Senior Member
    You'll be fine! I was involved in the African/Latino Club at my high school all 4 years, and we had people of all races-->black, Latino, Asian, Middle Eastern...nobody was treated any differently. I've also visited a bunch of HBCUs and the people there were some of the nicest people I've ever encountered on college campuses.
  • ryan123456ryan123456 Posts: 1Registered User New Member
    kelliebm

    Are you talking about DSU? I just transfered there and everyone has been really really nice to me. I am white by the way.
  • TheMXTTheMXT Posts: 22Registered User New Member
    I just found this topic and I know it hasnt been used in a while, but I am a white guy considering applying to an HBCU (specifically either NC A&T or NC Central) my main reasoning is that

    1) they both have the Majors I am interested in (albeit Central seems to have a few more), and

    2) i've heard that HBCUs financial aid for minority students can cover a good portion of the costs.

    I am not too worried about fitting in as I went to a majority black HS and while I wasn't the popular guy I got along with most people and def. enjoyed it more then my middle school years at a predominately white private school. My only question is that a few people namely my mother/sister who I think are just more 'terrified' of me going to an HBCU instead of then anything, have mentioned that there is a lot of hazing on the white students at HBCUs. Now I know every schools is different but is there a lot of truth to this in anyone else experience?
  • ucbalumnusucbalumnus Posts: 31,931Registered User Senior Member
    Plenty of students attend colleges where they are members of a minority racial or ethnic group*. If the best fit for you is such a college, don't worry about it. (It could be a problem if your mother uses the money aspect to prevent you from attending, though.)

    *Including white students at various colleges and universities, as well as many students from other racial and ethnic groups.
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