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Which is the best HBCU?

GirlwitharabbitGirlwitharabbit Registered User Posts: 73 Junior Member
edited November 2015 in College Search & Selection
I have a few that will offer me full rides but I can't tell which ones are the best. Please tell me your opinion, along with your reasons, it might help other students looking to attend one of these schools.
Post edited by warblersrule on
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Replies to: Which is the best HBCU?

  • sseamomsseamom Registered User Posts: 4,901 Senior Member
    Hi there-not much about HBCU's on CC, is there? My D is in the process of applying to several and has toured 15 or 16 of them. She has friends at still others, and we've talked to still more at various college fairs. They are as different as PWI's can be-large, small, public, private, in cities and in the middle of nowhere. Some are known for certain majors or disciplines, others for the atmosphere, or even the connection to religion. Do a search for HBCU's on this site and hopefully, you'll see my review of the ones we toured in the summer of 2014. D went on to tour several more as part of a spring break trip.

    Howard, Hampton, Spelman and Morehouse consistently come up in the top 5, and Fisk is right up there. Also Tuskeegee, FAMU . There's a poster on CC who has/had a son at NC A& T and just loved it there-our family has heard the same from other parents in person. It's supposed to be excellent for pharmacy & engineering. D has a friend at Howard in Premed-he feels challenged and that he is exactly where he wants to be.

    D's top choice is Fisk, for many reasons, including the size, the support, the emphasis on service to community (that's a part of the top scholarships) and the history. She also was impressed by Southern, Morgan State and Bennett (she knows several satisfied grads at Bennett).

    Others that have generous scholarships are Prairie View and Langston, off the top of my head. The best thing about almost all of them is that they have rolling admissions and do not have the heavy emphasis on test scores or even grades. Students who might not have a chance in other settings not only get in, but have intense support for both freshmen and academic needs.

    Be aware, the schools are VERY different in nature. Don't go after money only if it's a school in the middle of nowhere and you like big cities. Or don't choose a large school if you want small and intimate. PM me if you have other questions. We've been VERY pleased with the response we've had with any of the HBCU's we've dealt with. Good luck.
  • LakeWashingtonLakeWashington Registered User Posts: 9,305 Senior Member
    "Be aware, the schools are VERY different in nature. Don't go after money only if it's a school in the middle of nowhere and you like big cities. Or don't choose a large school if you want small and intimate."

    Very good points made by Sseamon.

    My own perspectives are...
    --Prairie VIew; the child of a west coast friend enjoyed this campus tremendously. The student later went on to a well known midwestern medical school.
    --N. Carolina A&T; part of the UNC system, so there are solid resources there. Lots of school pride at A&T.
    --N. Carolina Central U. A great core curriculum and cross-registration with Duke. Neighborhood is a bit shaky.
    --Norfolk State U; nothing to recommend it except a good nursing program
    --Virginia State; pleasant traditional-style campus. Sadly had to cut back recently on some excellent programs (Physics) that had sent students to graduate study at Johns Hopkins. Un-appealing town.
    --Florida A&M; don't know if they have resolved their recent financial difficulties. The contentious situation with the joint FAMU-FSU Engineering school is a problem.
    --Howard U; its glory days are long past.
    --Virginia Union University; extremely small campus
    --Hampton U; not bad at all but the class-distinction is annoying to some students
    --Fisk U; I love Fisk but I wonder if they ever truly recovered from their financial problems of years ago. Some potential female applicants avoid Fisk because of the tremendous gender imbalance.

    You may want to consider other schools which, while not HBCUs, nevertheless have a significant ratio of black students enrolled and an admirable record of successful black alumni; all three have very good reputations. Wesleyan prides itself on affordability.
    U of Alabama-Birmingham 22%
    Wesleyan College 36%
    Mississippi University for Women 37%
  • sseamomsseamom Registered User Posts: 4,901 Senior Member
    I should add that D will also be applying to Temple, as a PWI that has a sizable black population, in a city she enjoyed and a good reputation, but which also gives significant merit aid, AND is test optional.

    Lake-D did not care for Virginia State or Virginia Union. She felt both were too small and run down, though one was under extreme construction, which annoyed her. She did like Norfolk's education program and the honors program, but everything I've read about the place does not make it seem like a fit for her or most anyone else. Good to hear something positive about Prairie View-it's on the "maybe" list for D.
  • Jamrock411Jamrock411 Registered User Posts: 498 Member
    OP, what will be your undergraduate major?
  • GirlwitharabbitGirlwitharabbit Registered User Posts: 73 Junior Member
    Thank you all for replying! I wasn't sure if people would. @Jamrock411 I will be studying psychology.
    NCCU, FAMU, Howard, Prairie View, Tuskegee, Troy and Coppin all offer me full rides and so I was considering these first since my family doesn't have any money to send me off to college. Do any of you know how these programs would fare in preparing me for a graduate program as that is very important to me.

    @LakeWashington I looked up crime rates in Durham and it didn't seem too high. Can you tell me more about why the area near NCCU seems shaky?
    @sseamom I've looked for a while to find your reviews and I can't seem to locate them. Is there anyway you could link it here?
    Thank you all again!
  • circuitridercircuitrider Registered User Posts: 3,097 Senior Member
    *That's Wesleyan College in Macon, GA.
  • GirlwitharabbitGirlwitharabbit Registered User Posts: 73 Junior Member
    edited October 2015
    @circuitrider Your reasoning? Also, that's not an HBCU. I'm not certain I understand.
  • MYOS1634MYOS1634 Registered User Posts: 39,654 Senior Member
    From your list, I would say Howard is the one with most potential for you in terms of location, resources, and peer group.
    Do apply to Spelman or Morehouse - they have a handful of full rides for their top applicants. Look for a poster named Juillet who got one of those, and went on to grad school at Columbia, fully funded.
    If you're a girl and okay with PWI's that are nevertheless very diverse, look into Mount Holyoke, Barnard, and Agnes Scott. All would be terrific if your goal is grad school.
    If you are lower income and URM, look into 100% need schools - some.of these like Harvard or Yale or Amherst or Pomona or williams offer full rides to all admitted applicants whose family makes 65k/ year or less (yes I know, it's really "middle class :-) " )
    Have you run the net price calculator on those universities?
  • circuitridercircuitrider Registered User Posts: 3,097 Senior Member
    edited October 2015
    What @LakeWashington said,
    You may want to consider other schools which, while not HBCUs, nevertheless have a significant ratio of black students enrolled and an admirable record of successful black alumni; all three have very good reputations. Wesleyan prides itself on affordability.
    U of Alabama-Birmingham 22%
    Wesleyan College 36%
    Mississippi University for Women 37%

    Fun Fact: Wesleyan College in Macon, GA is the alma mater of three members of one of the most powerful families in pre-Communist China: http://www.wesleyancollege.edu/about/soongsisters.cfm
  • GirlwitharabbitGirlwitharabbit Registered User Posts: 73 Junior Member
    @circuitrider Oh, I got ya now. Sorry.
  • sseamomsseamom Registered User Posts: 4,901 Senior Member
    OP-this is the thread. I wrote it soon after our tour-D has since done additional research and touring, and she is no longer looking at early enrollment, but is graduating early and is now a senior at her HS. So she will start next year as we expected, but as a traditional freshman, not a dual-enrolled student.

    http://talk.collegeconfidential.com/parents-forum/1669578-hbcu-tour-p1.html
  • LakeWashingtonLakeWashington Registered User Posts: 9,305 Senior Member
    I like Temple U. Solid academic programs and in recent years they have spent money to significantly upgrade buildings and facilities. Philly can be a fun town as there are thousands of college students in and around Philadelphia. Philadelphia is a majority Black city.

    Of the OP's current list of HBCUs, I think NCCU, FAMU, PVA&M and Howard are most favorable academically and campus-wise. Honestly though, I have been disenchanted with Howard for years because I believe they have been content to rest on their laurels and haven't aggressively tried to enhance programs or attract students. As Sseamom said, you need to determine which other features and aspects are important to you.

    Durham generally is a pleasant town. It's smaller than you think. NCCU's neighborhood is not blighted, but a bit "worn." That wouldn't stop me from enrolling at NCCU. It is really a fine and underappreciated college. The cross-registration with Duke University (and NC State Univ.) is a great benefit. I think it's one course per semester. You will love the rivalry between A&T and NCCU.
  • NuScholarNuScholar Registered User Posts: 236 Junior Member
    edited October 2015
    @Girlwitharabbit
    Prairie View - Beautiful campus with strong school spirit and adequate funding. The school is accredited so the psy program should be decent.
    FAMU - For those who don't know, FAMU has resolved all financial issues. FAMU has A LOT OF SCHOOL SPIRIT and a pretty active alumni base. I really like the legacy of FAMU because it's unique compared to other HBCUs. And they are the #1 HBCU for research so it's likely you can jump on a psy research project quite easily (invaluable experience)
    Howard - People say Howard is "overrated" but I disagree. Howard continues to enroll top students from WORLDWIDE. A good majority of their students have very impressive resumes and are culturally centered (unlike smart students at other "elite" private schools). There's a new president at Howard and he's making some changes, I see Howard definitely progressing in the future. Also Howard is known for research and networking ... so many big name people and corporations come through Howard on a regular basis due to its location and reputation (more than most predominately white institutions).
    Tuskegee - I like Tuskegee. Wonderful legacy, school spirit, alumni base ... just another really good option.

    The rest I wouldn't entertain personally but maybe you should, different strokes for different folks.
  • Erin's DadErin's Dad Super Moderator Posts: 36,056 Super Moderator
    I'm surprised @juillet hasn't chimed in by now.
  • GirlwitharabbitGirlwitharabbit Registered User Posts: 73 Junior Member
    Thank you all. You've been a great help.
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