Getting Accepted into an HBCU: A Guide | New

While many parents want their children to go to an HBCU, they don’t know how to get them there. Here are some steps to help you through the process!

Present as soon as possible

The first step to enrolling your child in an HBCU is to get your child to want to attend one! As in many environments, it is important to introduce your child to HBCU culture if you want them to consider it academically.

In some cases, students come from a family of HBCU graduates and may want to follow in their footsteps. However, there are other ways to introduce your child if they don’t have that luxury.

Open houses and college tours are two methods widely used by most universities to give students and parents the opportunity to get a feel for their university by being able to see the campus on a regular school day. You should also take your child to events such as football games, Black Greek Letter organization endorsement shows, Battle of the Bands competitions, etc. Exposing your child to an HBCU atmosphere early will let you know if he has an interest or not.

Finally, don’t limit your search to the most well-known HBCUs. There are 107 HBCUs, and one will be perfect for your child!

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It is imperative that your child learn about the rich history and importance of HBCUs. Historically, black colleges and universities were introduced in the 19th century to provide black students with the opportunity to receive undergraduate and graduate education. The first HBCU, Cheyney University, was founded in suburban Philadelphia in 1837, and Lincoln University, founded in 1854 and also located in suburban Philadelphia, was the first degree-granting HBCU. After the Emancipation Proclamation in 1863, a number of HBCUs were formed and 89% of the schools are located in . Southern States. HBCUs are found in Ohio, Virginia, and the Virgin Islands. The states with the most HBCUs are Alabama (14), North Carolina (10), and Georgia (9).

Get good grades / Know the requirements

Each school has different requirements for a student to be admitted to their institution. The average GPA you need to get into an HBCU ranges from 2.5 to 3.0. However, for schools like Hampton University and Florida A&M University, their average admission GPA is 3.24. Joining different organizations and clubs will also impress schools. The best thing your child can do to help themselves is to get top grades and be an active student.

Tests can be a vital breaking point in knowing if a student will get into a university. The two tests that most universities look at are the SAT and the ACT. The school determines which one it will use, but it is best to take both. The reason it’s best to take both is that it’s best to have a score for each in case you decide to apply for a school that doesn’t revise the test you take. Usually, schools clearly indicate the score that they generally expect from students. All you have to do is research the schools you are interested in and find out what their average SAT/ACT score is for admission. The best ways to score high on these tests are to practice, strategize, and rest before the exam!

The final step to getting into an HBCU is to apply! You cannot be admitted to a school to which you are not applying. Deadlines are very important. Most schools have an early decision deadline that allows you to apply before the usual deadline, but if you are accepted by early decision, you must attend college. Although a fast action deadline is essentially the same thing except you don’t have to decide until the normal deadline which is usually May 1st. Applying through regular admission isn’t a bad thing either. A regular decision allows you to take more time on the schools you want to apply to. But it also shortens the time you have to make a decision about a university.

Some schools accept the common application which is an application that you complete once and can be used for multiple schools. Others have a specific application you need to complete that is geared towards their university.

There is a common HBCU application that allows you to apply to multiple HBCUs at once, but all schools – notable ones being Hampton University, Central North Carolina University, Morehouse College, and Howard University – do not accept this application. In the end, the school for you will choose you!