Breaking Brown

April 18, 2016

HBCUs Seek Non-Black Students to Pay the Bills and Circumvent Recruitment of Black Students by White Schools

HBCUs Seek Non-Black Students to Pay the Bills and Circumvent Recruitment of Black Students by White Schools

Black people are disproportionately poorer than non-blacks, which means students at Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) are poorer than their non-black counterparts. This poses quite an obstacle to administrators at cash-strapped HBCUs.

There is also another a lesser known problem facing HBCUs: Competition. White colleges and universities are aggressively recruiting black students. For example, white schools like Georgia State University have expanded to include even more black students. At present, the percentage of black students at Georgia State University is 41 percent.

To make up for these shortfalls, HBCUs say they have no choice but to recruit white students, according to Pew Charitable Trusts.

Harry Williams, the president of Delaware State University, a historically black public university, explained that he’s been left with no choice but to get creative.

“It’s a revenue generator for us and a way of marketing the university,” said Williams, who has secured arrangements to receive Chinese students as part of an exchange program. “We’re definitely committed to our heritage and our history. But we had to make sure that we were relevant and have programs that would attract students.”

Tennessee State University and North Carolina A&T are recruiting white, Asian and Latino students to make up for the shortfall.

As Pew explained, serving poor students is a financial burden for schools:

Public HBCUs are perennially cash-strapped and have lower graduation rates. They don’t have the luxury of large endowments enjoyed by some major state universities like the $10 billion at the University of Michigan, academic analysts say. Part of their mission is to serve low-income students. And state budget crunches can imperil their future.


In Louisiana, where the state is facing a $747 million budget shortfall, Southern University System earlier this year warned that it could no longer operate if budget cuts were too deep. (The school later stressed that it would be able to stay open but not without severe cuts to staff and course offerings.) In Illinois, which hasn’t had a state budget for 10 months, Chicago State University faces the prospect of closing its doors

“If the majority institutions are intentionally recruiting African-American students, they are now your competition,” said Johnny Taylor, president and CEO of the Thurgood Marshall College Fund, which represents HBCUs. “Frankly, you can try to out-recruit them by recruiting African-American students. Or you can target the students they normally target: white, Hispanic and Asian.”

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10 thoughts on “HBCUs Seek Non-Black Students to Pay the Bills and Circumvent Recruitment of Black Students by White Schools

  1. TinaSue says:

    If we have a trillion dollars spending power, why are we the poorest of all people?  There are so many dam stories that one doesn’t know what to believe.  I for one am sick of all the negatives about Black people.  Our children are listening to this mess, and it can’t help but dampen their aspirations.

  2. Johnw11 says:

    TinaSue  Actually, African Americans do not have a $trillion. According to all reliable socioeconomic accounts, Blacks have about $1.4 trillion in household wealth collectively. That’s different from, as many shyster financial accounts have it, Blacks having over a $trillion in liquid cash — ready to spend. One cogent, to the point, very scholarly report of Black wealth is Antonio Moore’s “The Decadent Veil: Black America’s Wealth Illusion.” If you haven’t done so already, please Google and read. Please.
    Regarding HBCUs, many have been trending white for some time now.
    If I understand this article correctly, many HBCUs are recruiting white students in order to keep their doors open, since whites are better positioned to pay. That’s what makes Sanders campaign so significant for African Americans, all public colleges and universities will be tuition free under his plan. While all HBCUs are not state/public institutions, undoubtedly, he will ensure that HBCUs are taken care of as well. This came out from his campaign when Negro trolls for Hilary attempted to discredit his tuition free plan by clamoring that HBCUs are not state institutions.
    By the way, these same trolls never did say what Hilary’s plans are for HBCUs. That’s because she doesn’t have one, beyond pandering and carrying “hot sauce” in her purse, and name dropping.
    I think, and this cannot be over-stressed, we need to tell children the truth. The fact that Blacks are cheated out of 80% to 90% + of the wealth due Blacks is NOT due to any lack of motivation on the part of Blacks. The cause is rooted in racist socioeconomic policies. Policies that must be challenged. That challenge is intergenerational, and children must learn their future role in the challenge right now.

  3. Rick Manigault says:

    Chickens coming home to roost. These schools are begging and pleading for assistance from  people they discarded and treated like trash, its time to pay the piper. Black schools serve a purpose but the WRONG kind of black people are running them and they will soon perish. 

    When I was in a HBCU they had a noticeable amount of white students, this article seems to imply that whites or Asians at the black schools is a bad thing. I support economic segregation and keeping out gentrifyers but this seems petty.

  4. TinaSue says:

    Johnw11 TinaSue Thanks for the suggestion of Antonio Moores ” The Decadent Veil.”   I’m going to Google and read it.  It doesn’t look promising, judging by the title Wealth “Illusion.”

  5. Johnw11 says:

    TinaSue  Good. As much as you read, I thought you’d probably read it already. I bet you’re going  to find it edifying.
    Post and let me know.

  6. TinaSue says:

    Johnw11 TinaSue I read the article.  It wasn’t as long as I expected.  I have to read it again and contemplate what he’s saying, and compare it with my experience amongst the Black people I encounter.  My family and relatives run the economic gamit from millionaires, upper class, middle class, and poor.
    Whenever there’s an economic comparson or criminal compairson, it’s always between Black and Whites.  I don’t believe the other “minorities” are protrayed accurately.
    I have to see if I can remember what I learned about economics in college too..

  7. Johnw11 says:

    TinaSue  Tina, glad you read the article. No, it is not long which is why I value it as a quick reference. I’m not thinking it requires an economics background to understand though, it can be understood by the average reader which is what makes it so valuable.
    Given your stated background though, I’m sure you know that one cannot judge the well-being or not of a group of 41-44 million people based on an economic status assessment of those we personally know.
    A data analysis encompassing the whole population of interest (African Americans) is required.
    You are correct, rarely is there an intragroup economic analysis of Blacks. Most such analyses focus on economic disparities between Blacks and whites — certainly, a useful focus — but Moore’s report goes further by not only focusing on intergroup Black / white wealth gaps, but intragroup Black / white wealth gaps as well.
    It is that model of analysis that informs us that Blacks as a group have scant to no wealth outside of the Black 1%; which itself has scant wealth in comparison to the white 1%.
    In fact, what I thought about when you said you have millionaires in your family is you are indeed part of a rare family system in Black America (assuming these members are Black). Moore’s excellent research makes it clear that out of about 14 million Black U.S. households, only about 14 thousand are in the 1%. And that the “median” household wealth of those Black 1% families is about $1.3 million, compared to the “median” household wealth of white families being $8.3 million. (I believe I’m quoting him accurately, which is consistent with much other data on the subject).
    So, using my own simple statistical calculations of Moore’s data (14 thousand Black families in the 1% with a “median” household wealth of $1.3 million), I calculate that there are only about 7 thousand Black households with a net work of $1.3 million or above (out of 41– 44 million Blacks).
    Since, as you know, the “median,” as a measure of what statisticians call “central tendency” is the mid-point of a distribution, which like the “mean” (average) has above and below scores or numbers of value. So if $1.3 million is the Black 1% median wealth, and that is the mid, or halfway point, and if the total distribution of the Black 1% is 14 thousand, then I calculate that only 7 thousand Black U.S. households have more than $1.3 million. In other words, only 7 thousand Black U.S. households have wealth ranging from $1.3 million upwards to Oprah’s estimated $3 trillion. Those in the Black 1% (but are below the median of $1.3 million) range from about $1.2 million downwards  to what ever the bottom is of late (I think about a few hundred thousand dollars).
    That’s why race is a predictor of economic well-being, and why most Black people do not know a Black millionaire personally. There simply aren’t enough of them to go around.
    Read it again, I think Moore does a masterful job articulating the wealth disparities among Blacks and except for a small 1% “sliver” of Blacks, African Americans ain’t got no wealth.

  8. TinaSue says:

    Johnw11 I think you meant Oprah’s “billion?” Not trillions.
    Yes, my millionaire relatives are all Black.  One earned his millions at Motown.
    I’ve always thought that Blacks need to manage their money better.  I was discussing Mr. Moore’s article with a family member and a friend today, asking why do some of our family members do so well financially, and others don’t..  Within my own family, education doesn’t seem to make such a big difference, although it does help.  One of the millionaires has less than a high school education.  Yet, he’s a millionaire, and stil manages his money well.
    I think Black people are beginning to focus more on economics instead of civil rights and begging.  It seems we were on the right track before Intergration.

  9. Johnw11 says:

    TinaSue Thanks for pointing out the error. It was useful feedback. 
    And while I’m not prepared to continue indefinitely on this (the data have already been collected, analyzed, and presented), economic rights and civil rights are not mutually exclusive.  In my operational definition, they are one and the same – one cannot exist without the other. When one reads the writings of Dr. King (particularly his latter writings) it is clear that he understood this fact.
    What Antonio Moore and other economic researchers are pointing out is that African Americans have no wealth beyond a “small sliver” of Blacks in the so-called “Black 1%.”  And even that “sliver” is pathetic when its wealth is compared to the white 1% — everything else is an “illusion.” And I might add, after being informed of this fact, those who continue believing that Blacks as a group are “well-off” are in fact delusional.
    In terms of “begging,”  Blacks who demand economic justice are not panhandlers. As I have stated before on this site, beggars settle for less. For example, 0.6% to 1.75% or so of the national economy while being 12%-14% of the population. Then, too cowardly (or ignorant) to demand economic justice for the whole Black group, those who claim Blacks are “begging” for demanding economic justice lay claim to the assets of the Black 1% as proof that Blacks have everything they need. There is no oppression in their delusional minds. They are totally out of touch with reality. Totally!
    Therefore, on the matter of “begging,” was Dr. King “begging” when he said that there are people exhorting Blacks to pull themselves up by their own “bootstraps,” while Blacks have no boots, and, at the same time these same people are themselves the beneficiaries of $billions in governmental grants and subsidies?  That’s why, said Dr. King, as he led planning for the poor people’s campaign in 1968, “we’re going to Washington to get OUR check.”
    My focus is not on how well some individual Black person is doing. My focus is on the group as a whole. There have always been a handful of Blacks doing well, even during chattel enslavement. Paul Cuffe the ship builder comes to mind. 
    Unless Blacks can sing, dance, play sports, or engage in some other form of entertainment (such as media appointed Black mis-leadership), or on rare occasions have business success, they are never going to be part of the Black 1%. And even if they do, they are still light years behind the white 1%. To believe otherwise is delusional.
    Almost all Black wealth is concentrated in the Black 1%. The wealth disparity between the Black 1% and the Black 99% is the greatest disparity in the world. However, neither the Black 1% nor the Black 99% are panhandlers.

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