Predominantly White Institutions vs Historically Black Colleges

Topics: African American, Historically black colleges and universities, Higher education in the United States Pages: 8 (2764 words) Published: May 29, 2010
Predominately White Institutions and the Reasons they are Worth the Time and Money

It was only a year ago when I was faced with making a very important decision that would affect me for the rest of my life. It was time for me to choose an institution of higher learning to continue my studies that would eventually lead me to my career. My decision wasn’t simply which university or college to choose, but as a young black student, whether to choose a Historically Black College or University (HBCU) or a Predominately White Institution (PWI). This would take me on an insightful journey and I would make my decision after discussing the pros and cons of both institutions and through interactions with students, faculty and staff. Before too long it was clear to me that “white campuses provide superior environments for black educational development” and provide the best eventual opportunities and benefits for the student (Allen, W.R.).

The transition from high school to college can be very stressful. Deciding which school to go to only adds to this stress. So many factors must be considered in trying to reach a decision, like the reputation of the school, the resources it has to offer and the location. For many college bound students the topic of this paper is not an issue. But Black students sometimes feel like they owe it to their race to attend an HBCU even if attending a PWI would better further their chances for success. For minority students, this is a part of the process, because we now have more options. We can choose between PWIs which educate mainstream America, or HBCUs which only educate individuals with the same experience, history and background. Being able to choose from different types of schools can be bittersweet. The most important goal however is to receive a good education from a good school, which is a very important decision to make and the main topic of this paper. Choosing the PWI will provide the best outcome because it offers the education that will best prepare students for future endeavors. This became clearer to me after considering the pros and cons of each institution.

Once upon a time, not so long ago, rich white males were the only people who were able to pursue and receive an advanced education. Over time men and women of all races were given the opportunity to be able to attend college, more specifically the Predominately White Institution. As things changed, minorities wanted to get the same benefits as their white counterparts. Not only did they want to take advantage of the opportunity to get a college education but also the opportunity to get such an education from a school founded specifically to educate them. It was 1837 before this would happen. The founding of HBCUs created an opportunity for minorities to attend schools built specifically to fulfill their educational, cultural and community needs. HBCUs give students the opportunity to matriculate in an atmosphere that will afford them many benefits. Cultural exposure, diversity and becoming apart of a community whose majority are members of a people with a shared and difficult history are just a few of the benefits of attending an HBCU. Although this is the focus of the HBCU it doesn’t mean that they will appeal to all minorities. Many students choose the option of attending an institution that focuses beyond cultural and community background and one which will educate them at the highest level.

HBCUs graduate a good percentage of well rounded educated students. HBCUs are necessary for this reason. Why would you go against an institution that is doing its job? “If an educational institution is producing outstanding graduates and leaders who are helping to make America strong, then it’s worth having (Jost)”. HBCUs have been producing graduates who leave better educated than when they started, but in comparison PWIs potentially offer better benefits. You may ask why. It’s because these institutions have an abundance of resources...

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