Get Schooled

The History of HBCUs

Last updated January 7, 2020

We all know that there are many different kinds of colleges and universities across our nation. We have schools focused on liberal arts, agriculture and technology, engineering and a host of other specializations. However, education has not always been as accessible and diverse as it is today. At one point in our history, minorities struggled to receive their education opportunities, which, as a result gave birth to alternative methods of learning. One such alternative became what we now know today as an HBCU.

HBCU is an acronym many people may have never heard before. But what does it mean exactly? To start, HBCU stands for Historically Black Colleges and Universities. Secondly, the Higher Education Act of 1965, which increased federal funding for colleges and universities, coined the term. But let’s back up a century.

Before the Civil War, higher education for black people was virtually non-existent. Newly freed slaves were being denied admission to the traditionally white higher education institutions that had been established at the time. The individuals who managed to receive some kind of education, such as African-American scholar Fredrick Douglass, regularly studied in less than desirable and sometimes dangerous environments. Others had to resort to teach themselves what they could.

A solution came with the second Morrill Land-Grant Act of 1890, which indicated that states who wanted to use federal land-grant funds were required to either make their schools open to blacks and whites or give money for segregated black colleges to function as substitute to white schools. Then the unthinkable happened. Sixteen entirely black colleges were given 1,890 land-grant funds.

Several HBCUs had already been founded at this point; such as Cheyney University of Pennsylvania (1837), University of the District of Columbia (1851) and Harris-Stowe University (1857). However, this act opened the doors for several more HBCUs to establish through government funding.

In Title III of the Higher Education Act of 1965, congress officially defined an HBCU as “a school of higher learning that was accredited and established before 1964, and whose principal mission was the education of African Americans”.

Since then HBCUs have grown both in funding and size, enhancing equal opportunity and educational rights for all students. Today there are more than 100 HBCUs across the South, East coast, and Midwest.

Pursue your goals

Get to College
Find a Job

Let Get Schooled help you achieve your goals

Sign UpLog In

Related


Frequently Asked Questions About Renewing The FAFSA

Answers to 6 frequently asked questions about renewing the FAFSA. Yes, the FAFSA needs to be renewed every year that you will be in school!

Dos and Don’ts of Going to Office Hours

Going to office hours can be a great way to get help, make sure you're on track, and to demonstrate your commitment to the class.

What can I do with this major?

CSUDH - It's never too early to start thinking about your major (maybe you already have). If you're undecided or unsure about what you want to study in college, we want to help you figure it out.

How to Avoid Distractions When You’re Studying

Get focused! Distractions abound! Maybe it’s your phone with access to the entire internet and social media distracting you, maybe it’s a computer. Maybe it’s your dog barking at other dogs out the window, or a sibling that you’ve been tasked with taking care of. Whatever it is that’s distracting you, we’ve compiled a few tips that can help you stay focused and find your quiet place!

Get Schooled helps young people get to college, find first jobs, and succeed in both.

About UsOur TeamBoard of DirectorsFAQ

Pursue Your Goal

©2020 Get Schooled