Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) 101
Interested in applying to a Historically Black College or University (HBCU)? Join CollegeAdvisor.com for a 60-minute webinar and Q&A, featuring former Spelman College Admissions Officer Chelsea Holley. Come ready to learn and bring your questions!
2022-06-20 Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) 101
[00:00:00] Hi, everyone. Welcome to tonight’s webinar. My name is Anesha Grant. I am a senior advisor at CollegeAdvisor, and I will be your moderator today. Welcome to Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) 101. To orient everyone with the webinar timing, we’ll start off with a presentation. Then answer your questions in a live Q&A on the sidebar. You can download our slides and you can start submitting your questions in the Q&A tab.
Uh, I’m so excited to have this conversation with you, especially the day after Juneteenth, to be thinking about it, celebrating black American culture and its impact in the college application process.
So I will hand it over to Chelsea Holley, who is our panelist welcome Chelsea. thanks so much. Again, my name is Chelsea Holley. I serve as an admissions officer here at CollegeAdvisor. Um, I’ve spent a little over 10 years working in selective college admissions. Um, I have worked at liberal arts institutions, private colleges, community colleges.
And of course, what we are here to talk about today, HBCUs. Um, I’d like for us to definitely take a deep dive into all things HBCUs and there will be tons of opportunities for you to engage and answer questions during the presentation. So
Let’s kick this off with a quick poll. Um, what grade are our students in that are attending?
All right. That is coming in.
All right. So Shirley, we’re getting some responses here, um, so that we can give some context to how we should direct today’s conversation depending on the audience. Um, give it another quick, second for any last minute cha and then I will close it in five, four. 3, 2, 1. All right. Um, so the majority of our folks are actually in 11th and 12th grade.
So about 80% of the folks who have logged on today are in 11th and, and 12th grade. And then the remaining, uh, 20% are actually coming from 10th grade. So we have more older students in this mix. Um, if that helps you at all, Chelsea with thinking about how to move forward today’s conversation. So thanks everybody for participating in that poll.
We’ll have another one for you a little bit later, but I’ll hand it back to you, Chelsea. Absolutely. So that means it is crunch time for most of you that are [00:03:00] on this call. Um, Let’s kick it off with a definition about what HBCUs are. So over the past two years, we have seen a rise in interest media, um, apparel, all kinds of things that are supporting HBCUs have been at the forefront.
Um, so the definition of an H B C U is a college or university established prior to 1964, whose principal mission was the education of black Americans. This is incredibly important because what this means is that. Schools that were just founded a year ago or two years ago. Um, they could be founded with the mission to educate African Americans.
Um, they could be predominantly black as far as their enrollment numbers. Um, but the official definition is tied to institutions that were established before [00:04:00] 1964. Um, one of the reasons this is so central to the definition, um, is because this is at a time where. African Americans were unable to attend other institutions.
And so it was, uh, incredibly important that they were able to establish institutions either for themselves or with their allies. Now, HBCUs enroll over 200,000 students, there are 101 HBCUs in the United States. Um, they are located across 19 states. Most of them tend to be, uh, on the east coast and the south and in the Midwest.
Um, district of Columbia has, uh, two HBCUs and then we also have HBC HBCUs in the us Virgin. 52, our public institutions in 49 were established as private institutions. So when we talk about financial aid and scholarships, [00:05:00] a little later on in this presentation, the distinction between public and private is important because that talks about where funding is available, um, and how those funding sources are structured.
Finally H B C U demographics have changed over the years. So 24% of students at HBCUs currently identify as non-black or two or more races. Um, this has increased in recent years, uh, and we foresee this continuing to increase in the future. Um, there are a couple reasons for this, um, one, the population of the United States is becoming, um, more and more.
Um, more folks are identifying as two or more races or mixed race. Um, and then we also have other programs that are bringing non-black students to HBCUs. Um, so we have athletics, um, athletic recruiting, uh, is a big source of the non-black enrollment at [00:06:00] HBCUs. We have international students and exchange programs.
And then of course the academic programs that are offered at HPCUs are attractive to more than just black students. So they are also, um, recruiting and, um, welcoming students that are interested in academic programs. So let’s go through a quick timeline on the history of historically black colleges and universities.
Uh, so we start at 1837 Cheney university in Pennsylvania is the nation’s first and oldest, H B C U. In 1856, the first established black owned and operated H B C U was founded in Ohio Wilbur forest university in 1865. The first H B C U in the south was established in Georgia Clark Atlanta university.
Shaw university was also founded around that time. I believe there’s a [00:07:00] bit of debate about which one was the first H B C U in the south, uh, in 1890, the federal government grants land to black colleges and universities through the moral acts. This is an incredibly par, uh, important part of the history is because this began to open up funding.
Um, and land grants for African Americans to build, uh, their colleges and institutions and ultimately welcome students. Um, and then last in 1965, the term H B C U was officially designated by the us department of education. Um, so as you can see, HBCUs have had a long history in the states. Um, and we are one of the only countries that have, um, historically black colleges and universities.
So we also have students from, uh, across the world that are part of the black diaspora, African diaspora that are interested in coming to the United States to study. [00:08:00] Um, I mentioned a little earlier that we are seeing, uh, Renaissance, um, a, a moment of, uh, of a spotlight here on HBCUs. Um, I think in the African American communities, um, they have been.
Familiar for some time. Um, but remember this is also regional. Um, I spend some time on California in, in California working for students, and there are no HBCUs in California and very few on the west coast in general. Um, and so students on the east coast are from the south, maybe more likely to have familiarity with an H B C U they’re certainly more likely to have visited a campus, um, and really been able to take in the environment, um, in the classroom and outside of the classroom.
So let’s talk a little bit about how HBCUs are different from other colleges and universities. So I’d like to start this slide off [00:09:00] by saying that all colleges and universities are incredibly different. When we think about, uh, the college search process, we often talk about institutional type. So this means is the school public or private?
Is it a research institution or is it liberal arts college? Um, is it single gender? Is it co-ed um, or does it serve some sort of ethnic minority or religious minority? Um, for HBCUs we see a number of different institutional types come together. So there are private HBCUs. There are public, there are co-ed, they are single gender.
So there are all of these different types of campuses that fit under the umbrella of historically black colleges and universities. But I do wanna share a few characteristics that HBCUs tend to have in common with one. The first difference is that [00:10:00] they provide a stable in nurturing environment. Um, and I’m sure you’re thinking, well, don’t all colleges provide a stable in nurturing environment.
Um, and so that is often the mission for many, uh, institutions of higher ed. Um, but certainly that is the case for historically black colleges. So if we think about their history and their inception, um, their very creation was to provide a safe space for African Americans to learn, to grow and to ultimately go on and contribute to the world.
Um, and so at that time, African Americans receiving an education and being able to finish college, um, was in many ways this life changing experience. Still to this day, HBCUs are more likely to support students at risk. So this means students that are first generation college, uh, students, low income students, uh, PE [00:11:00] eligible, um, and then academically unprepared students who may have attended, uh, public schools that had, um, a true deficit in funding, um, where we really need to pick up the gap once they get to college.
And so when you’re dealing with a population that has either been, uh, historically underrepresented, um, or has some form of identity that is still currently oppressed, it is even more important that the environment in which they choose to continue their education is safe and nurturing. So this is at the core of what H B, C U stand for.
The second one is learning about the African diaspora. Um, one of the very first, uh, courses that you often take at HBCUs is African diaspora in the world. Um, that really gives you an idea, not only about the, um, African [00:12:00] American experience, but also the experience of anyone across the world, whether they live in Europe, Asia, Africa, um, What their experience is like being a person of African descent.
Um, this is a thread that runs through the curriculum of historically black colleges and universities. And oftentimes it is through this lens that we explore other disciplines. And so when we’re thinking about, uh, biology or health disparities, um, the context is, is centered and grounded in the experiences of black people.
When we’re talking about political science or liberal arts, um, that context is not forgotten as well. So this is, um, an incredibly unique feature for HBCUs, um, and it really gives students a sense of confidence, self identity, um, and really allows them to understand how their history, uh, connects with everything [00:13:00] that is happening today.
And then last affordability. Um, college affordability is a huge, huge issue right now. Um, we know that tuition and fees have been rising for over the past 10 years. Um, and something has got to give for HBCUs. They have, um, maintained a competitive, uh, financial place in the market. Um, and so according to the United Negro college fund, the average cost of attending an H B C U is about 27% less than comparable four year PWIs.
And so students also see it as an affordable option for them to continue their, their education, um, and not have to accrue a huge amount of student loan.
So here are some other, uh, reasons that HBCUs are different from other [00:14:00] colleges and universities. So I think that there is a very unique social experience, um, for students that attend college at an H B C U. Um, there is a level of legacy in history in tradition, um, that is very, uh, centric to our student life programming, um, home homecoming, sporting events, uh, clubs and organizations, whether they’re Greek letter organizations or otherwise.
Um, the social experience at an H B C U is like none other, um, and often are one of the most fun experiences for African American students in college. And then lastly, if we think about all of these differences in the contributions, um, that they give to the students’ academic experience and social development outcomes are one of the main reasons that HBCUs are so [00:15:00] different.
Um, and this is, uh, tried and true. So studies show that black H B C U graduates are generally better prepared for life beyond college and more engaged at work than non H B C U graduates. Um, black colleges continue to outperform non HBCUs and graduating black professionals professionals in a number of fields.
So let’s talk about what some of those fields are of African American college graduates. The following earned a degree at some level from an H B C U. So 70% of dentists and physicians earned a earned a degree from a H B C U 50% of lawyers, 80% of judges, 50% of teachers and 40% of other healthcare professionals.
So all of these numbers are incredibly significant. Um, but 80% of judges, uh, 80% of [00:16:00] black judges, that is a huge number to think that they have had a stop at an H B C U along the way. And so we talk about a sense of belonging, um, a nurturing community, a safe community. These outcomes really are the proof in the pudding for all of the benefits that HBCUs continue to bring to their.
So academic programs offered at historically black colleges and universities. Um, there are, uh, hundreds of academic programs, majors and minors offered at H BBCs. Um, I encourage you to think of an H B C U as you would another college, um, when you’re doing this research around academic programs, because I can guarantee you, you will be able to find your interest or your major, um, at a historically black college, the first program that I’d like to talk about, um, our stem [00:17:00] programs, so science technology, and engineering and math on H B, C U campuses.
So out of the top 20 institutions, that award bachelor’s degrees in stem to African American students, eight of those are historically black colleges and universities. When we talk about a nurturing and stable environment, this is not only, uh, cater to students’ physical safety. Um, this is also how safe they feel in the classrooms, how safe they feel to, uh, go to a professor after class and, uh, ask a question or raise their hand and say that they’re confused.
And so these interactions in the classroom and outside of the classroom are enriched when students are around their peers. Um, and when they’re being able, uh, to be taught by faculty who either look like them, um, or have a high, um, priority for educating, uh, [00:18:00] students from the African Dias. So liberal arts.
Um, there are some key characteristics that we see for liberal arts institutions. They typically have smaller class sizes, um, small, uh, enrollments all together. So you have a very intimate campus environment at a liberal arts institution. Um, you also are exposed to a number of ideas and topics and disciplines, um, which really allows you to, um, open your mind, um, and apply critical thinking skills to a number of disciplines.
This thought process is central to liberal arts, and it is an increased benefit for students who attend a liberal arts, H B, C. Agricultural institutions are also, um, certainly a historic piece of the H B C U story. Um, I talked a little bit about [00:19:00] land grants, institutions, um, and what that meant legally. Um, we have seen that, uh, the U S D a has funded HBCUs across the nation with over a hundred million.
Um, in the past two years, this is incredibly important because there has been a long history of underfunding, particularly of our public HBCUs. Um, and so the land grants at HBCUs that we’ll be able to take advantage of will help, um, create a more even playing field for some of that equity moving forward.
Business, um, business degrees are incredibly popular, um, for all undergraduate students. And we do see many H B, C U students interested in business, economics, finance, or marketing. Um, I wanted to share an interesting fact about Morehouse college. Um, Morehouse has produced 40% of the African Americans [00:20:00] working as venture capitalists in their field, um, which is a significant number for an institution that graduates just under 500 students each year.
And then lastly, we cannot forget about graduate programs, 27 of the historically black colleges and universities offer doctoral programs and 52 offer master’s granting programs. So this means that you could get your master’s in social work. You could get your Juris doctorate, you could get your MD, your site D you could go to dental school.
All of these options are available at HBCUs as well.
So it looks like it is poll time again. So where, where are you all in the college application process? All
right. It is open. And I love what you shared [00:21:00] earlier about, um, the percentage of graduates that HCS are producing. That’s a number that always surprises. It makes me very happy, especially looking at the number of dentists, the number of healthcare professionals, like all of those, um, statistics are always really inspiring.
Um, cuz I think that that’s a statistic within HCU that goes unnoticed a lot. When we think about it and their impact in society overall. Absolutely.
All right. We’re still getting some responses in, but it looks like the majority of folks are honestly really early on in the process. And so I think as we move on to talking about the application process and the, in the next few pieces, there might be some desire to linger on those details. Um, a bit for folks.
So I’ll give the people a few more minutes, a couple more seconds to finish.
All right. Um, so yeah, about 50% of our [00:22:00] attendees today, um, are saying they’ve just started to research, um, or that they’re beginning to research some folks that they just got started about 33%. Um, and then another small percentage is looking for has started, but they are feel like they’re in need of some help and assistance.
So hopefully the next few minutes of our conversation and into the Q and a, we can kind of help get everybody else back on track or help them point them in the right direction for the support that they’re looking for.
Thank you. So let’s move on. Um, and talk a little bit about financial aid and the application process. Um, for those of you that are rising juniors, rising seniors, um, it is never too early to begin the financial aid and scholar. Research process. Um, I talked a little bit about, um, the rising cost in college tuition.
So it is more important than [00:23:00] ever that, uh, students and families are really sitting down and making a financial plan early on. So the first part of looking at financial aid options for any institution would be to fill out your FSFA, which is the federal application for student aid. Um, this is an application that will give you access to loans, um, scholarships, state grants, um, federal grants.
There are a number of resources that, um, depend on your FSFA being filled out, um, in order to get you the funds that you need for your education. Um, the next piece is scholarships. So we have merit based scholarships as well as need based scholarships. Merit based aid is, um, completely based on your academic performance, your involvement in extracurricular activities, [00:24:00] um, your involvement in sports or leadership.
Um, so all of the things that you did that, um, you worked really hard, um, during your high school years to put on your college application, all of that is merit based aid and institutions are able to, um, reward you for all of that hard work with a merit scholarship. Um, the second piece of aid is need based aid need based aid is completely focused on what your financial need.
so that could be, um, the Pell grant is an example of a need-based aid, uh, work study opportunities are an example of need-based aid. Um, and so these days students are using a mix of merit-based aid, need-based aid and loans to fund their college application. So you want to, uh, focus on as much a, that you don’t have to pay back as possible.
So those are your grants and your [00:25:00] scholarships and loans should be something that you’re just using the fill in the gap. And so as you’re first starting out, keeping finances and keeping the goal of getting scholarships at the top of your list is incredibly, I. HBCUs are, um, both in state and outof state, uh, institutions as a general rule of thumb.
If a school is a public institution, um, then there is a different cost for a student pending where they live. So whether you are in the state, um, that the institution. Is located or whether you are outta state determines how much you would actually pay. Um, another thing to keep in mind for in-state, uh, institutions is that they often have a priority or a focus of educating at least some percentage of the state’s population.
So for example, if you are in South Carolina and you are looking at, um, a public college in [00:26:00] South Carolina, oftentimes they are filling up the majority of their enrollment with 60% in state students because they have a public good, um, that they need to, uh, make sure they’re providing to the, um, citizens of that.
For out of state or private institutions. Um, oftentimes the cost is the same, whether you are in state or out of state. Um, so if a, if a college is private, then you are typically paying a same tuition fee as a student that live in that state. Um, which sounds like a good thing, but private institutions are often more expensive than public institutions.
So as you begin to craft your college list, um, whether a school is public or private, um, is certainly something that you wanna note because that will give you some insight on how affordable that institution might be for you and your family. Um, and then last do [00:27:00] not forget about external scholarships. Um, in addition to whatever scholarships are offered at the institution, you should be applying to scholarships outside of the institution.
Um, one of the amazing things about external scholarships is that you can take them with you wherever you. So that means whether you, uh, go to the school that you were originally accepted to, um, or let’s say you change your mind and wanna look at another institution, external scholarship funds, follow you through those institutions.
Um, I have made a short list of some of the scholarships that are specific to H B C U students. Um, but this list is much longer. Um, so U N C F um, they give millions and millions of dollars to H B, C U students each year. Um, and they also work really closely to support the institutions, um, code house scholars that is a relatively new H B C U scholarship.[00:28:00]
Focus on students, interested in coding in stem, um, a group of students out of Morehouse in Spelman college founded this scholarship and they’ve received, um, substantial funding from Microsoft and Google, um, target scholars, another, uh, newer H B C U scholarship that offers up to $15,000 each year. Um, and the list goes on.
So I encourage you all to certainly research, um, what scholarships you might be eligible for as a prospective H B C U student.
So choosing between an H B C U in a predominantly white institution. Um, this is a topic that we have seen a ton in the news over the past couple of years. Um, as students are really. Seeing the benefits of HBCUs. Um, we’ve seen students who were not looking at historically black colleges a few years [00:29:00] ago, and now they’ve, uh, become more interested.
And so they’re having to really weigh the pros and the cons of an H B C U versus a PWI. So I, so I wanna go through some things that you should, uh, consider, uh, if you find yourself in this position. Um, but also remember institutions are completely based on what is a good fit for you. Um, and so these are just some of the areas that you want to compare and contrast as you’re making that decision.
So the first one is your institutional preferences. So we talked about this, um, a little early on. Um, and if you started the college list process, you begin thinking about institutional preferences. This means where is the college located? Is it in a busy, urban setting or is it in a rural college town? [00:30:00] It is a, is it a huge school with 10,000 undergraduate students or does it only have 2,500 undergraduate students?
Um, is it a research institution where you are likely being taught by a graduate assistant in a classroom of 150? Um, or is it a liberal arts institution that, uh, your class sizes are relatively small and tend to be under 20 students? Um, so these are all of your personal preferences that are going to shape your college list.
And ultimately these should be the driving factors on whether you’re choosing an H B, C U a PWI or any other institution that you might be interested in. The second one is academic program. Um, so again, you want to make sure that not only the college that you’re interested in has your major, um, but. Is it a program that’s been around for a while?
Is it a program? Um, that has good outcomes for [00:31:00] its graduates. Um, and so focusing on that academic program could also help you to narrow down, um, your major of choice. The next one is that racial or social climate. Um, this one is a bit more specific to HBCUs versus PWIs. Um, and this is something that you want to ask questions about and investigate.
Um, and this means how comfortable do you feel as a person of color as an African American student, um, on your perspective college’s campus? So ideally on an H B C U campus, that is a top priority, um, that you’re feeling safe, you’re feeling nurtured, um, in that space. So if you are considering a PWI, are you seeing that same support?
Um, are you seeing that same, um, racial climate that is accepting of you, um, that affirms you, that allows you to explore your history, [00:32:00] um, on a PWI campus and only you can answer that question for yourself. The second, uh, the next one is faculty and staff. Um, faculty and staff certainly can make the H B C U experience.
Um, these tend to be the people that are making sure that the college campus is nurturing and safe and is a space of community. Um, and so making sure that you still feel that way on a PWI campus, are you seeing the same support from your profess professors? Are your academic advisors, um, relatable? Do they understand your story, understand your point of view?
Um, these are all things that can make and break your experience. Um, as you were transitioning to college, And then, uh, affordability, we talked a little about this already. Um, we can have all of the preferences that we wanna have about the college search process. Um, but this is a practical decision, an emotional [00:33:00] decision and a financial decision.
Um, and we know, um, that funding and HBCUs because of its historic underfunding, um, may not always stack up against comparable P. And so when you’re comparing award letters, I encourage you to sit down at the kitchen table. This is that kind of conversation that you have, uh, as a family to determine what is the most affordable option for you.
Um, and what makes sense for your journey. Um, we talk to students all the time that are interested in going to medical school or going to law school after undergrad. Well, that means more money spent on tuition down the road. Um, so as you’re choosing an undergraduate institution, also think about any additional schooling that you might be interested in having, or that is necessary for your career path, because that also should be included in the affordability conversation.
And then last college search [00:34:00] influences. And this is all of the influences around you. So in your household, in your peer circle, um, at your high school, um, You will receive many messages, um, from people through this process about where you should go. Um, what’s the better school what’s ranked higher. What makes the most sense?
And it’s important for you to take in these opinions, um, but also, um, not be so attached to those external influences. Um, and so if there’s someone who’s really advocating for you to attend an H B, C, U, or attend a PWI, it’s important to talk about why, why that would be a good fit for you. Um, and so those conversations are not also coming with, um, evidence about why this is a good FA uh, a good choice for you.
Um, I encourage you to do some additional research.[00:35:00]
So last pieces, advice of advice for HBCUs, um, or students that are interested in applying to HBCUs. Um, I think the first one is that you can forget that HBCUs are incredibly diverse. Um, so I mentioned that, uh, 20% of H B, C U students, uh, are currently, uh, identify as non-black or two or more races. So there’s racial diversity.
Um, but there is also religious diversity, uh, certainly socioeconomic diversity, uh, regional gender. Um, so I encourage you all. As you’re thinking of HBCUs, you know, that the racial piece, um, may be a little more homogeneous than the other institutions you’re looking at, but there are many other elements of the experience that will, um, allow you to interact with people that are different from you that look different, um, that come from a different [00:36:00] background or a different part of the world.
Um, and so that is, that is also very central to the H B C U experience. I encourage you to visit campus, um, especially for our students that might be on the west coast or in states where you don’t have an H B, C U near you. Um, it is incredibly important to take out some time over the. Year or two years to go to an H B, C U campus and determine for yourself if it’s something that is of interest to you.
Um, there are open house days where you can spend significant amounts of time. So, um, uh, an overnight program, there are of course campus tours and info sessions. Um, and these are all opportunities for you to, um, get to know HBCUs in person on their campuses. And then finally, uh, talking to H B, C U alumni about their experience.
Um, H B C U alumni are incredibly proud. There is, [00:37:00] uh, a huge network in community, um, of graduates and they are always so excited to talk about their H B, C, U and H BBCs in general. Um, and so if you’re not able to get to a campus visit soon, um, I really encourage you all to reach out through your network, um, and hear some of these stories about HBCUs and why it is an important experience to have.
Thank you so much, Chelsea, for a really great presentation and for that overview. Uh, so that is the end of the presentation part of the webinar. And I hope you all found the information helpful. Just a reminder that you can download this slide from the link in the handouts tab. So we’ll be moving on to the live Q and a.
You can go ahead and submit any questions that you have in the Q and a tab. I will paste them into the public chat so that everyone can see them. I’ll read them aloud and then give Chelsea an opportunity to give you an answer, uh, as a heads up, [00:38:00] if your Q and a tab, isn’t letting you submit questions, you might just wanna double check that you joined the webinar through the custom link in your email and not from the webinar landing page.
You might have to log off and log back in in order to get that going. Um, but if you are able to use the Q and a function, uh, please go ahead and share any questions that you have for Chelsea in the next few minutes. And we’ll have about 30, 20 to 30 minutes for questions. Just so folks have context for that.
And I have a question that came in, which is not specific to HTS, but I think a generally good question, Chelsea, which is just, when is a good time to start applying for college. yeah. Good question. So we typically refer to this process as the college search process, and, um, I wanna make that distinction because college search includes the application process, but it also [00:39:00] includes the research, the visiting, um, really getting the lay of the land.
And this can start as early as your sophomore year. Um, I would say that to be on the safe side junior year is certainly crunch time. Um, you want to begin planning, um, the types of colleges that you’re going to apply to, um, understanding, uh, the school’s test optional policy, all of these things that will take some significant time to do.
Um, so you need at least a year to begin getting ready for this process. So I would say ideal time would be fall of the junior year. And then I guess, similarly, when is a good time you mentioned campus visits. When would you recommend that folks start doing that or trying to get that scheduled? You know, I think campus visits as something that you can do as early as possible.
So, uh, if you have the time and the resources to do a campus visit your [00:40:00] sophomore year, um, that is a wonderful practice. I often encourage families as people are vacationing, um, and going on road trips to, to stop by a college campus just so that you understand, um, what it looks like, what to look for, the things that people are sharing on campus tours.
Um, and so as early as possible on the campus visits, but certainly to visit before you.
Thanks. So there was a question that came in regarding S a T scores. So the question is, is there a universal S a T or a C T score? I’m assuming that the questions more, like, is there a general kind of cutoff for those particular tests, but if you could speak to the S a T a C T and the admissions process, and then if there are any differences in how HBCUs are looking at those particular tests, Absolutely.
So I, I think that there is a lot of information swirling around S a T and a C T currently. Um, particularly since many [00:41:00] schools have adopted a test optional policy, um, I won’t get too deep in the weeds of test optional. Um, but essentially it is giving students some flexibility on whether to take an S a T score or to choose, um, to not take a standardized test score.
Um, there is no general score. There is no pass, fail, cutoff score, but what most schools do is they’ll provide an average of their admitted students. So that’s typically a data point that you can search for whatever college you’re interested in. And that will give you an idea of if that score. Um, is competitive for that institution.
Um, again, there are, uh, a range of, uh, selectivity rates when you’re thinking about institutions. So you will see a pretty large range as you’re looking at different schools. So it’s important to find out where you fit, um, in what kind of category of institution you might be interested in.[00:42:00]
Thanks. Um, going back to visits, uh, someone asked how beneficial are virtual visits, because a lot of campuses have been booked for in person or have limited opportunities for in person visits. So what are your thoughts on participating in those virtual visit opportunities? Yeah, absolutely. So participating in virtual, uh, opportunities can be just as beneficial.
Um, I do still think there’s something special about being on a college campus and really getting to understand the culture of the campus that you’re on. Um, many schools will have virtual tours. So, um, an example of a virtual visit, that’s not a tour, might be an information session where someone is doing a PowerPoint and talking about the school.
Um, but if there is a self-guided virtual tour option, I encourage you to definitely do that. It’ll give you some 360, um, shots of some of the spaces on campus so that you can really see the facilities. Um, and then I think another [00:43:00] resource that has been an amazing stand in since the pandemic is social media.
So when we talk about really giving the sea culture on campuses, um, I encourage you to visit. The, uh, TikTok the Instagram, uh, the Facebook of your schools of interest, and more than likely you’ll see some really engaging video content that can give you some of that insight, even while you’re still at home,
back to the, I guess, general overarching, how do you get into college? The question is what do college admissions officers wanna see on an application? And then I have a, a follow up regarding some so specific components of that. okay. So that is a big question. And I’m gonna try my hardest to, um, give you all some sort of synthesis.
So, um, what college admissions offers want to see on a college application depends on the institution that you are applying to. There is [00:44:00] no kind of, um, model that all schools are looking for. Um, as far as an applicant, one of the great ways to find out what the school you are interested in, um, is looking for, is getting on their website, looking at their mission, um, and seeing how that might relate to the things that you’re doing.
So for instance, I saw, um, a question about community service in the chat. Um, there are many schools and particularly HBCUs that explicitly talk about community service and service and their mission statements. There are other schools who don’t even mention service. And their mission statements. And so understanding what schools find important, um, is another clue that will let you know if you are an attractive applicant for that candidate.
Um, what I encourage you all to do if you are just starting out and trying to see how schools will look at you as an applicant, um, is focused first on the things that [00:45:00] you’re passionate about and interested in that is the best way to craft a compelling application. Um, and to really show, uh, schools who you really are as a person, because essentially we wanna find someone that’s authentic.
So us telling you everything that we wanna see, um, isn’t really what we want this process to look like. We want you to be attracted to schools that you find are a good match for your interest, your academic strengths, your values, and then displaying to schools. Why you’re a match in that applic.
Thanks. And I’ll, I’ll use this, um, use that as a kind of quick PSA for CollegeAdvisors. So for those in the room who aren’t already working with us, we know that it can be overwhelming to kind of meet the, the challenge that Chelsea just laid out for you, for your parents. Um, and so our team of over 300, four minute format missions, officers and [00:46:00] admissions experts are ready and available to help you and your families navigate the, uh, process through one on one at advising, and really give you the opportunity to take charge of your admissions journey.
Um, you can sign up with us by using the QR code on the screen. We’ll also keep that up a little bit later, that will allow you to get access to a free 50 minute strategy session with an admissions expert. And then you can take it from there to see if that’s something you wanna explore, but to Chelsea’s point, it’s kind of complicated to figure out what, what is the best version of yourself that you.
Present. What are the pieces of your story that you wanna be sure coming out in your application process and CollegeAdvisor is a resource that you all can take advantage of to help you navigate that journey? Um, so that’s my, my quick little PSA. Um, but I’ll move on from there and get back to the, the Q and a, um, and you kind of captured, uh, one of the questions you, you tackle the question about community service.
I appreciate that. Uh, there was just a question that was shared about what are the benefits of Greek life. I don’t know if you can speak to. [00:47:00] Yeah, sure. So I would say, um, Greek life on all college campuses are, um, popular and advantageous, but I think for H B C U campuses, um, it’s definitely more central to the culture of an H B C U um, all Greek letter organizations have mission statements, um, and pillars that really focus on their interests.
Oftentimes it’s community service, um, academic excellence, um, social initiatives. And so if you are interested in those things, then you can find a Greek letter organization, um, that also shares those values. Um, so it does give you that additional community on campus, um, as well as lifelong bonds with those that are in either your fraternity or sorority.
Thank you. Um, let’s see, trying to pull up the next question. So there were a few questions that [00:48:00] came in earlier around scholarships. So is there a deadline around scholarships when student asked, when should my scholarship applications be completed? Should I get accepted before I start applying the scholarships?
Can you. So someone asks, what is the rate at which HCU offers scholarships. Um, so I don’t know if you have any guidance on just how folks can better organize and get, be thoughtful about their financial aid specifically in that scholarship application process. Yeah, absolutely. So I would think of scholarships in two buckets.
One is internal, the other is external. So remember external scholarships are all of those amazing companies and organizations that I named earlier. U N CF, uh, target Coca-Cola Thurgood Marshall fund, um, external scholarships have deadlines independent of the school. Um, and so for example, for U N CF scholarships, they may have a February 1st deadline every single year for all students, no matter what school they go to.[00:49:00]
Um, so it’s important for you to be researching and organizing all of these organizations that offer funding and begin keeping up with their deadline. So that’s one half the other half are institutional scholarships. And that means the schools that you are actually going to apply to what financial aid opportunities do they have available for you?
Um, the general rule of thumb is the earlier the better, um, the FFA, so that financial aid federal application opens October 1st, every year. Um, and so you have an opportunity as early as October. It will be October of your senior year. Um, before you graduate to go ahead and fill out your FSFA, you’re able to choose what institutions that your FSFA is sent to.
Um, and once you choose those institutions, they will have all of your financial aid information. So ideally, when you are admitted into college, you will also receive a financial aid letter [00:50:00] that tells you, uh, you’re eligible eligible for X amount of dollars in Pell grant. Um, we’ve awarded you a $10,000 scholarship, um, and you have the option to take out $5,000 in loans, right?
Um, all of this is on the financial aid award letter that comes after you are. So the earlier the better once the common application or the coalition app, um, or whatever college application you are using opens, you should be finding out what the scholarship deadlines are for the schools that you’re applying to.
And more often than not, um, those deadlines will be early. Um, I will say that some schools do not have any additional scholarship applications as part of their process. So this means that once you apply to the school, you’re automatically considered for all of the merit scholarships or need based scholarships that they have as long as you have a [00:51:00] FFA on file.
Um, do not assume that that is the case. I encourage you to reach out to the admissions counselors at the schools that you’re interested in and ask them, what is your process for first year scholarship applications? And they’ll let you know where they fall.
Coalition app. And so the question is, do HBC use care, which application you submit? Do they want you to apply using their specific application? Is it okay to use the, the general kind of applications that are out there? Really good question. Um, so generally speaking, I would say no, um, they do not care. I think I named.
At least most of the, the big application services that allow for you to apply to more than one school, um, common app and coalition app are the most popular. Um, I know that there is an H BBC U [00:52:00] specific application, um, called the black common app, um, that has about 50 HBCUs on, um, that application. Most of these schools are going to be on a number of application services and it does not matter to us which one that you use.
Um, I just make sure, encourage you to make sure that you’re using a reputable application source, um, that you’re not going to have any issues with, with submitting the app. Thanks. Um, that was like what I thought the answer would be, but I I’m glad, I’m glad you clarified. Um, this is an interesting question from I’m assuming, uh, a student who does not identify as black or, um, African American, they ask.
If I’m being recruited, um, as an athlete to an H B, C U am I taking a valuable spot from a student of color? that’s a good question. Um, so I, I won’t talk a ton about athletics, but, um, I will say generally speaking, um, that is not the viewpoint. [00:53:00] Um, I, I spoke earlier about 20% of students, um, identifying as non-white.
Um, and I think if you talk to H B, C U leaders, or H B, C U professors, um, they will tell you that HBCUs have never been exclusionary, um, very early on in our history. Um, we opened our doors to, uh, Jewish students at a time where they were unable. To go to other institutions. Um, and so there is not a culture of, um, keeping certain students out of HBCUs.
Um, and then I also think as it relates to athletics specifically, um, that has given, um, HBCUs a more diverse and robust pool to recruit athletes from, and athletes are good for schools. Um, they bring funding, they bring, um, uh, a more lively campus environment. So this is an opportunity for HBCUs to grow into bigger, um, institutions that will have more longevity.
Um, so in many ways we look at the diversity as a good thing.[00:54:00]
One question that I think is maybe more timely, relevant to the last couple of years, or what are the, um, well, okay, I’ll do this one really quickly. Someone say, can you repeat the names of the common apps that you would recommend. yes. So I would say the common application, um, and that would be the largest, um, application system.
We also have the coalition app, and then there are some state specific app. So you have like the UC system app, uh, the Texas statewide app. Um, so you it’s up to the student to find out which schools they’re interested in. Um, and what, uh, application services they use. Some schools also have an internal application, um, but if you go to the apply button, um, on any school’s website, they’ll tell you exactly what, uh, services they use.[00:55:00]
Thanks for that repetition. And I did, uh, try to case a few in the chat, um, that, uh, Chelsea had mentioned earlier. Um, so the question I was gonna ask before that was just vaccine requirements. Um, Do you, can you speak to how schools are managing that as students return to campus? As we, as we try to get back in person, um, fully in the next couple, couple of.
Yeah, great question. I think, um, HBCUs, if I can generalize have been pretty conservative as it relates to, um, COVID requirements and guidelines, many HBCUs, um, are requiring students to be fully vaccinated. Um, so that is something that you might expect, um, to, to have to do in the coming years. Um, remember though vaccines have always been required, um, as, uh, part of your immunization process.
So COVID is now adding on something [00:56:00] additional that will be a part of, kind of your medical clearance before you actually enroll. Um, all of that is ever changing, as you all know. So I encourage you to research the COVID policy of your institution next year, or whenever you’re enrolling.
Talking on mute. Apologies. We had a student who commented earlier that his mom went to an H B, C, U, and, and shared that she actually had a lot of non-black students in her major. So just speaking to the diversity that already exists within H BCUs and it being an alternative option, um, to see that diversity in other places.
Um, looking for one more question before we head out, um, are there any resources that you would recommend that can really help students research? H P H BCUs in [00:57:00] particular, they know they wanna go to an H B, C U, but how do they kind of figure out which one is the best one for them? Yeah, so, um, I would say, um, college vine is a good re uh, resource.
All, uh, institutions, not just HBCUs, but you do have the opportunity to filter, to just show HBCUs. So I’m gonna put that in the chat. Um, also, um, us news world of reports is always interesting. Um, if you’d like to see some of the national rankings, um, for schools. So I, I always give the caveat that again, we’re not looking for.
The number one, school, the number two school necessarily, but dig into those rankings and find out what goes into those. So if you go to us world newsroom report and click on a school’s ranking, it will tell you all of the metrics that led to that ranking. So it may be really impressive that a school is number three in the nation.
[00:58:00] Um, but you can find out how they got to be number three. Is it because of their retention rate, their graduation rate, how many students are placing in careers? Um, upon graduation, uh, what the median earning is two years out, five years out. So those are the kind of metrics that can really shape what the, the good choices are as far as institutions.
Um, and again, that is, um, a good tool to research for HBCUs and, um, other colleges more generally. Yeah, I would also, I guess, second, the us news world report. If you’re interested in specific majors to look at what schools are competitive in those areas, I love that you mentioned career placement and kind of graduation and outcomes, cuz I, I don’t know how many folks are thinking about that, but those are important to see, um, how many schools are actually placing you into medical school or into law school, if that’s your ultimate goal, um, upon graduation.
So USS world report, I would definitely second that as well. Um, Those are [00:59:00] all of the questions that we have for now, unless you have any thoughts about men’s and women’s soccer at HBCUs . Um, that was one question that came up, um, about when, when will HBCUs get men, men and women’s soccer teams. Um, I’m not sure if that’s something you could speak to.
No, no, I’m gonna have to go back to the drawing board and that you stopped me. But that, that, that was interesting. I needed to like Google that and see the, the propensity of, of S and women’s soccer. And now I wanna like dig into that at HBT. Um, so I appreciate the person for asking that question, apologies that we can’t, um, shed more light on it, but, um, we will wrap up the webinar there.
Thank you so much, Chelsea, for your time and energy today. Thanks to everyone for coming out tonight. Um, that is the end of our webinar. We hope you had a good time learning about historically back colleges and universities. I’ll also just share the remainder of our. June the schedule. Um, so, um, on Wednesday, the 22nd, we will have why you need college application help.
[01:00:00] So if that’s a lingering question for anybody after today’s presentation and you want some more insights on the college application process, please join us on Wednesday. And we will close out the month with developing a strong extracurricular profile on the 26th and how to build your college list on the 29th.
Hope to see you at those events. Otherwise, thanks so much again for joining us. Have a great evening. Bye everybody.