In 2010, Dr. Marybeth Gasman, Associate Professor at UPenn, created a policy brief of comprehensive funding approaches for HBCUs. It addresses funding sources, policies and strategies currently practiced and proposed by HBCUs. This essay traces the origins of financial disparities plaguing historically black schools. First, you must be aware that HBCUs enroll a large percentage of students from low socio-economic status. This may lead to small percentages of alumni giving and university endowments. Secondly, HBCUs also enroll a large percentage of students from ill-prepared elementary and secondary education. Thus creating higher risks of low graduation and retention rates.
Dr. Gasman addresses the disproportionate amount of federal funding amongst HBCUs as a population and then compared to their non-HBCUs counterparts. In 2005, the receipt of federal research and development support to HBCUs showed that the top ten HBCUs (i.e. Spelman, Morehouse, Howard, Hampton …) accounted for 52.7% of the funding and the top 20 HBCUs at 72% leaving the remaining 85 HBCUs with little or no federal funding in regards to research and development. Is the federal government being held accountable for such disparities? What is the criteria for an institution of Higher Education to receive federal funding for research and development?
The policy brief goes on to explain that in the state funding, where HBCUs serve a large proportion of African American students, HBCUs are also receiving unequal capital per student. For example in North Carolina, students at some public HBCUs receive half ($7,800) of the in state funding when compared to their counterparts ($15,700) at a Predominantly White Institution. Should the state and local governments be held accountable for these inequalities? Is it okay to preference higher student per capital spending at institutions with large endowments and students of higher socio-economic statuses than their counterparts at HBCUs?
As students, alum, faculty and staff of HBCUs what can we do to increase support and improve our methods of fundraising? What are some examples of HBCUs that have successfully worked to increase funding and what methods did they use?
There is something fishy going around and we need to catch it!