Are Only Black Students Welcome at HBCUs?


Historically Black colleges and universities, also known as HBCUs, continue to provide anti-racist education to hundreds of thousands of students all across our nation. Regardless of what you may think, historically Black colleges are most definitely not exclusively joined by students of color. ScholarPrep Nation is here to set the record straight. 

In fact, Bluefield State College in West Virginia has a minority enrollment of only 11%, which is below the state average of 15%. This is only one example of a historically Black college that chooses to become available to students of all races. But is this equitable or not? Should the student body of HBCUs remain all-Black? Is the education of Black Americans at risk here?

In today’s article, we’re going to explore the fascinating world of HBCUs and get a deeper understanding of why white students choose to join these colleges and universities. Read on and find out more!

What Exactly Are HBCUs?

According to The Higher Education Act of 1965, historically Black colleges and universities are institutions that serve students who have previously been denied access to education either due to their race or nationality. 

Going back to the civil rights movement, historically Black colleges and universities were a safe haven for Black students, educators, and staff members. With a strong tradition, deep Afrocentric roots, and a commitment to inclusivity, African-American students were finally allowed to pursue higher education on their own terms.

Can Non-Black Students Join Historically Black Colleges? 

Yes, they can. Should they? That is up to each student to decide. Considering the long-standing fight against systemic racism and oppression, it’s safe to say that at the very least, HBCUs can educate non-Black students in an Afrocentric way.

How? Through workshops, courses, or group talks about what it means to be an African-American student in this day and age. Any historically Black college should encourage the race conversation and strive to educate all students equally, regardless of the color of their skin. 

Critical Race Theory (CRT) should be considered a staple of anti-racist education. That way, non-Black students will have the chance to better understand the severity of systemic racism, their own privilege, and how to use it without further oppressing their African-American peers. 

It’s no secret that racism has managed to impact all facets of life, from legislation all the way to education. Becoming aware of this very simple fact could have a tremendously positive impact on American society, for generations to come. Non-Black students are more than welcome to join HBCUs, yet they should do so with an increased sense of self-awareness and an eagerness to learn more about anti-racist education.

Does Everyone Agree That Historically Black Colleges and Universities Should Be Diverse?

Yes, and no. There are plenty of people who believe in the positive power of equity. The more diversity, the more efficiently the Afrocentric message comes across. That way, white students can get a rare glimpse into what the Black experience entails. They should easily be able to become aware of their privilege and consciously choose to use it constructively.

Critical consciousness is needed now more than ever. Meanwhile, debates are being sparked as white students are increasingly being accepted into HBCUs. While African-Americans are continuing to dream of college success, their peers are, whether we like it or not, occupying some of the sought-after places in these Afrocentric institutions.

Spelman College is another clear example of strong white enrollment. An online debate was sparked back in 2021 which led many to believe that the mission of HBCUs is now being violated. People seem to forget about the historical impact and the principal mission of HBCUs, which is leading Black students to academic achievement and college success.

The public debate detailed the meaning of being an ally. Basically, Twitter users argued that showing support for Black spaces should be done without interference. History shows us that Black spaces have systematically been invaded and molded in a way that benefits Eurocentrism at the expense of Afrocentrism.

ScholarPrep Nation: The Afrocentric College Access Program Our Youth Needs

Image credit: Freepik

It’s quite easy to see why we’re dealing with such a fine line between diversity and the dismantling of Black spaces. HBCUs were initially defined by the Higher Education Act of 1965 as institutions whose mission was to educate Black Americans. Nothing more, nothing less. Why? Because students of color had been prevented from college success for the longest time.

Let us keep this in mind as we explore the ultimate Afrocentric college access program, namely ScholarPrep Nation. Founded by Pastor George M. Gaskins Jr. of Bethel Baptist Church in Union City, California, and Mahea Gaskins, ScholarPrep Nation is the initiative Black students and their families have been waiting for. 

Our nationwide online community aims to demystify the college and scholarship access program, empower Black youth to realize their wildest academic dreams, and increase their academic achievement levels.

Here’s what ScholarPrep Nation currently provides:

  • Unlimited access to an online, nationwide network
  • On-demand academic mentorship
  • Expert advice from certified educational consultants
  • Personalized scholarship search & college essay writing
  • Being paired with a ScholarPrep Navigator (coach)
  • Completion of a personality assessment
  • ACT/SAT prep & tutoring
  • Monthly webinars
  • Accountability Meetings
  • …and much more!

Empowering African-American Students from High School to College and Beyond

We believe that everyone deserves to be seen, understood, and respected for who they are. For the longest time, the education system has been oppressing Black excellence and preventing Black youth from college success.

ScholarPrep Nation steps in and balances the scales. It’s time for us to build a safer, more equitable future for our children and for generations to come. Generational trauma can only heal when we learn the truth about our African roots, traditions, and history. The time is now.

Contact us now! We’d be happy to assist you and tell you more about who we are, what we do, and why we do it!

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ScholarPrep Nation

ScholarPrep Nation is a college access program that arms scholars with a wide variety of tools and resources to help them navigate their high school journey and understand all of the post-high school opportunities available to them

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