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HBCU vs PWI

2Smart2Cute2Smart2Cute Posts: 66Registered User Junior Member
I am an African-American student from Chicago who is looking for a school that will provide me with the best experience overall. Social life is just as important as good academics, I am definitely one of those work hard play hard students. This is when this topic comes up. Though I live in a black neighborhood I havent been allowed to be around my peers because my parents do not allow me. I wouldnt mind gaining this experience in college but I fear that academically an HBCU wont be up to par. I also want to experience being around other races because that will prepare me for the workforce. I dont want to be frowned upon for attending an HBCU and miss out on potential job opportunities because of it. By the way I want to study medicine so which type of school would be be st for that path? What are pros and cons of attending both?
Post edited by 2Smart2Cute on

Replies to: HBCU vs PWI

  • seke67seke67 Posts: 122Registered User Junior Member
    Apply to Howard. It's exactly what you're looking for. It's not a top 20 but it's a well respected school and can get you in to a good grad school assuming you do well. It's arguably the "top" HBCU. From what I've heard, you'll meet plenty of other black kids who are focused on academics and having fun. There ARE other races at Howard. Similar to how a PWI may only have a few minorities, an HBCU has a handful of other races. I'm applying so that's a plus :p. I personally have grown up in predominantly white suburbs and have attended predominantly white schools my whole life so I probably have a different perspective than you but I hope I gave you some insight. Apparently Howard has this extremely strong sense of community and it's an experience you won't find at other schools. If I get accepted and matriculate, I plan to go to a T20 grad school and assuming I get in, I'll have the experience of both.

    As for PWIs, what much is there to say?

    What are your stats?
  • 2Smart2Cute2Smart2Cute Posts: 66Registered User Junior Member
    My ACT was a 27 but I am retaking it and hopefully will receive my target score of a 30 or 32. I am number 1 in my high school class. I am also a member of several clubs and even a majorette.
  • seke67seke67 Posts: 122Registered User Junior Member
    Damn. Keep on doing what you do! You're definitely into Howard and if you raise your ACT score I'm sure you'll have a decent shot at some T20 schools (I'm assuming those are the PWIs you're considering?). I had the same worries that you did about HCBUs but I did my research and saw that Howard was a match for me. I'm applying to other schools of course but it's very likely that I'll be attending if I'm accepted. Howard has a very diverse student body (obviously not in terms of race) and you'll make all kinds of people from all types of walks of life. It's definitely no joke. I know a girl who gave up Cornell and Princeton for Howard! Ahh now I'm talking like I go to the school lol, but anyway, enough of me and my bias. You can do some more research on your own.
  • applicannotapplicannot Posts: 4,366Registered User Senior Member
  • seke67seke67 Posts: 122Registered User Junior Member
    PWI=Predominantly White Institution
  • ShrinkrapShrinkrap Posts: 11,350Registered User Senior Member
    Isn't there an HBCU sub-forum now? I can't find it.
  • juilletjuillet Posts: 5,277Registered User Senior Member
    As for fearing being from an HBCU will hamper your choices, don't fear. There are several HBCUs that are very well respected -- Spelman, Morehouse, Howard, Hampton, Tuskegee, Xavier in Lousiana, Fisk.

    I myself graduated from Spelman in May of last year, and I'm currently getting my Ph.D at Columbia University. There are a lot of Spelman, Morehouse, and other HBCU graduates here (one girl in my program went to NC A&T for undergrad). I also know a lot of HBCU grads in the city who work at top firms -- McKinsey (one of my classmates from college works in Chicago with McKinsey, went to Morehouse); Goldman Sachs, Merrill Lynch, Morgan Stanley. Got some other friends who are currently in med school at Penn and WUSTL. A lot of us went on to some very distinguished careers.

    The top firms came recruiting at Spelman and Morehouse, including the ones I listed above, top law schools like Harvard, Yale, Stanford and Duke; we always were having graduate school fairs on campus or very close.

    Academically Spelman was more of a challenge for me than Columbia is now :) I've talked to another Spelman grad at Columbia who feels the same way. The quality of teaching is very good, and they attempt to challenge you and turn you into a professional. I can't speak for other HBCUs, but other HBCU graduates tend to do very well wherever they go -- and hard work and professionalism are valued at HBCUs (any given day about 20% of the campus is dressed up, lol).

    As for adjusting to life in a predominantly white environment -- not gonna lie, it was an adjustment for me, but that's also because I had lived in a predominantly black neighborhood and gone to mostly black schools since middle school. Other students who grew up in predominantly white areas will find less adjustment.

    And it's not like you won't interact with people of other races, just like students at women's colleges interact with men. There is life outside of school, and there are summer internships, research programs, jobs, volunteer gigs...
  • applicannotapplicannot Posts: 4,366Registered User Senior Member
    HBCUs do tend to be very pre-professional, especially Howard.
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