What Is An HBCU?

HBCUs are colleges and universities that were originally created to allow African- Americans to go to college.“Prior to the Civil War, there were no structured higher education system for black students. Public policy and statutory provisions prohibited the education of blacks in various parts of the nation. 

HBCUs are a source of accomplishment and great pride for the African American community as well as the entire nation. The Higher Education Act of 1965, as amended, defines an HBCU as: “…any historically black college or university that was established prior to 1964, whose principal mission was, and is, the education of black Americans, and that is accredited by a nationally recognized accrediting agency or association determined by the Secretary [of Education] to be a reliable authority as to the quality of training offered or is, according to such an agency or association, making reasonable progress toward accreditation.” HBCUs offer all students, regardless of race, an opportunity to develop their skills and talents. These institutions train young people who go on to serve domestically and internationally in the professions as entrepreneurs and in the public and private sectors.


Which HBCU Should I Attend?

Attending a Historically Black College and University (HBCU) is a rewarding experience! One of the best decisions many of our Alumni Chapter members has made, includes attending a HBCU. There are 105 HBCUs to choose from, but you have to select wisely which is best  for you. It is recommended to visit the college of your choice, if possible, prior to final selection. In the Bay Area there are a few College tours offered through programs, high schools and churches. Aside from participating in a college tour, there are various other methods in selecting a HBCU.

"The fact that you are a graduate of a certain institution will say something about you to future employers and others."      

Ebony Guide to Historical Black Colleges & Universities

Consider location, college size, degrees offered and career goals, tuition and fees.

LOCATION - Small town or Big City? Both are rich in cultural experiences. Are you ready to venture off far from home? Do you have the discipline or will you be easily distracted by the small or big city lifestyle? Your parent(s), guardian/Counselor should be included in your decisions. Those who know your personality and temperament may assist you in making a better decision on your selection of a HBCU. 

COLLEGE SIZE - Why  is college size important? Size will reflect on what is available and what may be of importance to you. A larger university may offer more courses of study, more schools and colleges within the university system, a greater selection of advanced degree programs and often a more diverse student body as well as faculty. A smaller college may be more personal, may offer smaller class size or moreover offer a family atmosphere in comparison to a larger college. Take some of these qualities into consideration when selecting a college.

DEGREES & CAREER GOALS - Do you know what you want to do after graduation? Have you dreamed of becoming a dentist, engineer, attorney or professor? If so, you should select a college that offers the courses you need, to become who you want to be. There are many fields of interest, find one that suites your character and one that you can visualize yourself doing for years to come. Also think of a passion, may be this interest will be your minor. Write your goals down, develop a time line and discipline yourself. Find others who are also interested in the field or find professionals in the field; the idea is to surround yourself with positive individuals that will serve as support. These are the same individuals that maybe your resource(s), role models and references at a later time.

TUITION AND FEES - You can afford college! Search early for scholarships, financial aid and grants. Research guidelines, qualifications and programs. Local alumni chapters, churches and companies offer scholarships. Do not let anything get in your way if you want to attend college.


California Community Colleges Transfer Guarantee to HBCUs

Thanks to an agreement signed March 17, 2015 between the California Community Colleges and several HBCUs, California community college students who complete certain academic requirements are guaranteed transfer to a participating HBCU.


The 35 Participating Institutions Are:


Alabama State University

Alcorn State University

Arkansas Baptist College

Bennett College

Bethune-Cookman University

Bowie State University

Central State University

Claflin University

Clark Atlanta University

Dillard University

Edward Waters College

Fisk University

Florida Memorial University

Fort Valley State University

Grambling State University

Harris-Stowe State University

Huston-Tillotson University

Kentucky State University

Lane College

Lincoln University of MO

Lincoln University of PA

Mississippi Valley State University

North Carolina Central University

Philander Smith College

Shaw University

Southern University and A&M College

Stillman College

Talladega College

Tennessee State University

Texas Southern University

Tougaloo College

Tuskegee University

West Virginia State University

Wiley College

Virginia State University

Click on the link below for more specific details about the agreement and requirements to be eligible for guaranteed admission to a participating HBCU.