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Nashville Students and Alumni Share Why They Chose an HBCU

by Carjamin Scott on May 24, 2018, at 10:33 p.m. CST

Prior to the American Civil War of 1865, Blacks did not have access to formal higher education opportunities. To address this problem, Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) were formed. The Higher Education Act of 1965 defined HBCUs as “…any historically black college or university that was established prior to 1964, whose principal mission was, and is, the education of Black Americans.” Although HBCUs were created to educate Black students, HBCUs admit students from all races and backgrounds and offer a variety of programs that prepare students to contribute to society.

According to the National Center for Education Statistics, “HBCUs were founded and developed in an environment of legal segregation and, by providing access to higher education, contributed substantially to the progress Black Americans made in improving their status.” Some argue that there is no longer a need for these institutions because Blacks are now able to attend any school they choose.

However, the rate of enrollment for minority students remains stagnant at traditionally private white institutions (PWIs). Many factors exist that could explain why enrollment for students of color at these institutions is low such as:

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