Historically Black Colleges Face Uncertain Future

"For generations, [historically black] colleges and universities have played a key role in educating young African-Americans ... But facing often steep declines in enrollment, these schools are struggling to survive," The Washington Post reports

"In the last 20 years, five historically black colleges and universities — or HBCU’s — have shut down and about a dozen have dealt with accreditation issues. ...

Historically black colleges once were the only option for most black students, who made up almost 100 percent of their enrollment in 1950. That began to change in the 1960s, as many doors that once were shut to blacks were opened.

Now that black students have a much wider choice of schools, only 11 percent of African-American college students choose a historically black college or university. ...

While financial contributions to U.S. colleges rose slightly in 2013, on average at historically black colleges, only 10 percent of alumni give back. ...

Marybeth Gasman, an expert on historically black colleges and professor at the University of Pennsylvania, said states should support black colleges because they are doing the 'lion’s share' of the work for first generation-students. ...

Eighty-four percent of students at historically black schools receive Pell Grants, which are federal, need-based funds awarded to low-income students."

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