The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.
“Why would I go to an HBCU when I can go play for a bigger school?” “HBCUs have poor resources.” “PWIs have more money.” These are the typical responses I hear when talking about HBCUs vs. PWIs. Sure, these are valid reasons, but HBCUs have many opportunities I was unaware of until I got here. For those who do not know what those mean, Historically Black College Universities (HBCUs) & Predominantly White Institutions (PWI).
As a D1 athlete, the experience I have gone through at an HBCU is nothing compared to a PWI. The coaches care for you. They ensure you are okay and have one-on-one meetings with you. You are not treated like a number here; you are treated like an actual human being. They’ll let you take a day off if you need a mental health day. Although academics are first at the “Black Ivies,” athletics are significant. With my workouts and training, I feel like I am on a high-level team.
I talked to a few teachers and coaches, and they all responded that they feel like the students are at home; they can be who you want to be without being judged. Although there are not the best of the best resources, you feel very comfortable and safe from a mental standpoint and still feel like a high-level athlete.
Sure, the resources are not the same as a PWI, but we make do. There are still athletic trainers and many rehabilitation facilities to get the same feeling. Things are just old, if HBCUs had more of a spotlight, I think we’d have more money if more high-level athletes came to HBCUs, and we’d gain more attention.
I wasn’t indeed introduced to HBCUs at my school, my family informed me about these colleges, and I fell in love once I came. If more people were informed about HBCUs, I think more people would come and enjoy the HBCU experience. Unfortunately, when going to predominantly white high schools, they don’t tell you about HBCUs and what they entail. They only talk about PWIs, which is something that should change.
Let’s dig deeper into injustice and discrimination. There is no type of separation at HBCUs; everyone is welcome and treated the same. It’s like a home away from home. As a Black woman or black man in America, times now are more complex than ever with the ongoing global issues of police brutality and racial discrimination. Unfortunately, there are still many police brutality situations on PWI campuses, and the feeling of being unsafe on campus will always be there.
Why should you be asking why an HBCU and not a PWI?
The money standpoint is talked about very often, but there are many rumors that HBCUs don’t give out scholarships that are not valid. However, PWIs are well funded, and HBCUs have plenty of scholarships to give out, so don’t take HBCUs off your college list because you never honestly know. In addition, Black athletes have attracted money and attention to the PWIS that showcases them.
A fun fact is that HBCUs have produced 80 percent of Black judges, 50 percent of Black lawyers, 50 percent of Black doctors, 40 percent of Black engineers, 40 percent of Black members of Congress, and 13 percent of the Black CEOs in America today. HBCUs have positive and negative things about them, but not every school has those. Choosing an HBCU was the best decision, and I think as much as you consider PWIs consider an HBCU.
Black students feel safer, both physically and emotionally, here.