There is an endless debate about which institution is best for African American students, a primarily white institution or a historically black college or university. But, what many fail to realize is that it’s all based on one’s own experience.
For HBCU students, attending a school whose principle mission is to educate African American students allows one to explore their identity as black people, through a full black experience. However, when comparing students who choose to attend PWIs, HBCU students sometimes argue that the black experience isn’t as prominent in schools of higher learning in which white people account for majority of the enrollment. Which isn’t the case, some schools have their own black community, which includes their own events, parties, clubs and more. Sometimes, the black community is so developed that students who are heavily involved only see diversity in the classrooms and the dining halls.
For black students who attend PWIs, however, a lot of times many chose the school for the diversity. Students coming out of primarily black neighborhoods, sometimes choose PWI to gain new experiences from what they’ve been accustomed to. However, the same can go for students coming out of a more diverse neighborhood, choosing to attend an HBCU. Students who attend a PWI believe they’ve received the best of both worlds, a well-rounded experience. In a PWI that has a total enrollment of 66,000, nearly 10% consist of the black community, which is nearly half the total enrollment of the largest HBCU. But, they are still given the opportunity to interact and learn from other races and cultures.
Other times, the debate is focused on post-grad opportunities. The common misconception is that more opportunities are awarded to students who graduate from a PWI. However, HBCUs have a widespread networking net that expands throughout several different fields.
Ultimately, the decision is solely based on how you choose to spend your college life, other times it’s based on money. But, regardless of the school we chose, we are all faced with the same racism and discrimination post-graduation.