College homecomings and encouraging studies about African-Americans graduating from high school being more likely to attend college than other races, was overshadowed recently by more school shootings and other violence on or near the campuses of Historically Black Colleges and Universities.
According to a Nielsen study on the changing profile of Black consumers, 70.9 percent of Black high school grads enroll in college.
But, in recent weeks alone there have been shootings at Tennessee State University, North Carolina A&T, North Carolina Central University, Texas Southern University, Delaware State University and Winston-State University.
Whether the shootings were perpetrated by HBCU students or not, and whether they took place at off-campus events or sanctioned school activities the bottom line is the school’s names are in the headlines and the violence is damaging the institution’s reputations.
Once again, we hear the comparison of school violence on mainstream campuses, but mainstream campuses will not suffer the way HBCU’s have or will if this trend doesn’t stop.
Most HBCUs are suffering from poor enrollment and poor enrollment equals loss of accreditation and loss of accreditation means lack of government loans. The majority of HBCU students are dependent on government loans and if they dry up, the schools will have to shut their doors.
As school presidents become primarily fundraisers forced to do everything they can to convince benefactors and alumni to contribute money and invite high school graduates to consider choosing a HBCU – many are facing an uphill battle, even without the shootings.
The struggle was already real.