Deciding where to go to college can be a difficult choice. Taking into consideration the cost, location and social life can be important for students.
Representatives from HBCUs (Historically Black Colleges and Universities) sat in the main commons area of SE Feb. 9 to greet students and answer questions about what their schools offer, from the different programs to sorority and fraternity life during the “Intercultural Network Mixer and HBCU Transfer Fair” planned and arranged by the Intercultural Network on SE Campus.
“I’m representing my school, Texas Southern University, and my sorority, Alpha Kappa Alpha (AKA),” representative Doris Smith said. “I would like students to take away that they can get a good education at an HBCU, and socialization.”
Creating a space for students to be able to look around and learn about different HBCUs can be of benefit to those who haven’t been exposed to the universities.
“It’s all about exposure and opportunity, and that’s what I’m here to talk about,” Langston University representative Troy Stoutermire said.
Stoutermire said these outreaches are important for students to see opportunities around them.
“I believe that as many high school students I see on a regular basis, I have to see junior college students as well who may be looking for different opportunities after they leave this space,” he said.
Having the opportunity to talk to representatives can help students who may feel like they don’t have the information they need.
“I know I don’t want to go to a PWI, but I was kind of lacking the information,” SE student Donvanne Snow said.
While informants from PWI (predominantly white institutions) may have been able to reach students better than HBCUs, making sure students understand that they’re just as great may be important for those led to believe otherwise.
“Recruiters from the PWIs may have been around more, but everything that’s being offered at a PWI, is offered at an HBCU,” Smith said.
Making sure students are aware of all of the resources available to them when it comes to paying for college can be important for them.
“I’m always happy to talk to students about scholarships and how we can help fund their education,” Stoutermire said.
For some students, having the opportunity to learn about HBCUs and connect themselves with their advisors and representatives, means that they may be able to be in a space that’s more supportive.
“I think it’s very important because when I grew up I wasn’t very proud of who I was,” SE student Mary Akitade said. “The schools I went to were predominantly white, so going to an HBCU where I get to be around our people and learn about myself, especially because I’m not only Black, I’m African as well, so it’s important.”
SE student Jerica Lindsey said a similar sentiment.
“I feel like there’s more support and culture at an HBCU – you feel at home.”
Being reaffirmed by hearing about others’ positive experiences can help students feel good about attending in the future.
“I’ve heard a lot of positive things,” Snow said. “My cousin is an alumni of Xavier University and she loved it.”