Monday, April 21, 2008

The HBCU Blues

HBCU's are asking their alumni for more monetary donations and it's seems to be working. That's a great start, but if HBCU's really want to help themselves they are going to have to come up with more than a plan that squeezes their alums financially.


Randi523 April 22, 2008 at 12:39 PM  

I think all graduates that get out and "make it big", or even the ones like myself, doing pretty OK financially, should give back to their and/or other HBCUs, even if it's just 25 or 50 dollars every few months. HBCUs deserve to have the big endowments that other (majority White) universities have, esp. since a lot of them are private universities that do not receive government funding.

I'm a staunch defender of HBCUs and always will be (can't you tell? LOL), not just b/c I obtained a Chemistry/Math degree from one of them (Dillard). They are an important part of Black American and AMERICAN history.

But, Professor Tracey, I do agree, they can and should come up with alternative fund raising means, esp. with the way the economy's going... :-)

Shazza Nakim April 23, 2008 at 8:24 PM  

Being the C-SPAN Junkie that I am, about a week ago I watched a Congressional conference on the State of College and University Funding and the US Economy. Part of the panel's report was to detail how falling wages in the American family, the effects of the sub-prime Mortgage Crisis, cost for maintaining college and university infrastructures, alumni and trustee support, student loans, grants and scholarships and the United States commitment to Junior, Community and HBCU's is affecting students. The Panel made up of non-Partisan participants stated that although the costs for maintaining and controlling spending has been consistent, the overall STABILITY of the American College and University System is stable.

The real problems they are seeing isn't the costs (which are internal and necessary) it is more do to the lack of proper financial planning on Parents and Students that want to attend College after High School. With all of the programs, grants, loans, financial aid, scholarships and foundations (all of which the Universities and Colleges try to keep up on), what happens is many of these programs pay late or default and the University ends up footing the bills.
They also (and I have to give a little support on this) stated that a LARGE number of families do not consider the costs of college until the student gets the acceptance letter which places pressure on Colleges to do the right thing by assisting with 100% of the fees. So like the Mortgage Crisis, many people do not do their Financial Homework when it comes to paying for Higher Education and assume that the cost will materialize within a matter of weeks.

Not as much when I was in College but many of my HBCU friends had serious financial problems and once you pull back the veil of BLAME, much of what the panel stated about equal responsibility on the family side did apply.

Professor Tracey April 23, 2008 at 8:57 PM  

Shazza -

I am in complete agreement with you about folks, particularly black folks being prepared financially and academically as well for college. You are so right. In fact, you have inspired a future post. Look out for that and I would be really interested in what you think.

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