Why I Chose My HBCU

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Jalyn White
A group of four photos of HBCU campuses: Spelman College, North Carolina A&T University, Southern University, and Norfolk State University.

After decades of segregated education at institutions of higher learning, the very first Historically Black College and University (HBCU) was founded on February 25, 1837 by Cheyney University of Pennsylvania, creating a safe academic, intellectual, and social space for Black students. On December 1, 1865, Shaw University in North Carolina became the first HBCU in the South, initiating a cascade of HBCU charterings in the United States. These spaces of both comfort and challenge for HBCU students proved to be special, affirming students of their rightful place in society. Today, HBCUs are the #1 producers of Black physicians, lawyers, educators, politicians, engineers, and so many other professional paths by setting high-achieving standards for Black students.

I am currently a junior Biochemistry major on the pre-med track at Spelman College in Atlanta, GA. Before my sophomore year of high school, I had never heard of Spelman. But after one brief conversation with my mother who encouraged me to look into it, I started researching, toured the campus, and found it to be the greatest place at which I could continue my education. Spelman has been the #1 HBCU for 16 consecutive years as the premier college for Black women, and that is what greatly contributed to my decision. The academic atmosphere is intense, but the community is full of people who love and care for Spelman students, and the sisterhood I have experienced during my matriculation is unforgettable. Let’s hear from some other HBCU students on why they chose their HBCUs.

Jesse Uloghobui currently attends Norfolk State University in Virginia and is a sophomore Computer Science major on the cybersecurity track. His mother attended Norfolk State, and that is one of the main reasons he chose to enroll.