Because some historically Black colleges and universities were already struggling prior to the coronavirus pandemic, those such as private institutions like Miles College in Alabama — which receive little to no state support — had depended more on enrollment and endowments to remain afloat.

The schools had also been left to wonder whether they could survive if the virus leads to a prolonged decrease in enrollment, particularly when some students were grieving for parents who had died from the virus.

Though all institutions of higher learning have been affected by coronavirus closures and face uncertainties in the fall, the nation’s 107 HBCUs — which produce 42 percent of the country’s Black engineers, 80 percent of its Black judges and 40 percent of its African American members of Congress — primarily enroll 228,000 Black students annually, many from poor households, with more than half being the first in their families to attend college.

To fund their education, more than 75 percent of HBCU students rely on Pell Grants and almost all of them receive PLUS loans borrowed by parents, according to the Thurgood Marshall Fund.

WI Guest Author

This correspondent is a guest contributor to The Washington Informer.

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published.