African American Students, Choosing A School, College Spotlight

Top 10 Historically Black Colleges and Universities

No Comments 14 February 2017

In honor of Black History month, we have compiled a list of the 10 best Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) in the country. Check out their College Greenlight profiles to learn more.

Spelman College – Atlanta

Spelman College is a private, all-women’s college, which originally was established as a female seminary in 1881. It is ranked in the top 50 liberal arts college in the country and consistently is ranked as the best HBCU in the nation. The college is the second-largest producer of black medical students in the country. Spelman’s academic departments have individual accreditation, which makes it one of the most accredited schools in the country.

Xavier University of Louisiana – New Orleans

Xavier has been continuing its mission of promoting leadership and service-based education initiatives since its founding in 1925. The university is the first educational institution in the nation that has produced black graduates with dual undergraduate degrees in biological/life sciences and the physical sciences.

Tuskegee University – Tuskegee, Ala.

Tuskegee University was founded by Booker T. Washington in 1881. The Princeton Review and U.S. News and World Report both ranked the university as one of the best HBCUs in the country. The university offers more than 40 undergraduate programs and almost 20 doctoral programs and professional degrees.

Howard UniversityWashington, D.C.

Howard is a research university that was founded in 1867 and is considered to be the most comprehensive HBCU in the country. The university offers a medical, law, dentistry and pharmacy colleges, along with a multiple research facilities that have been internally recognized in their respective fields.

Claflin University – Orangeburg, S.C.

Claflin was founded in 1869 by Methodist missionaries to educate freedmen.. The university boasts a world-class faculty and was recently named the best liberal arts college in South Carolina. Claflin offers more than 35 undergraduate and graduate degree programs.

North Carolina A&T State University – Greensboro, N.C.

North Carolina A&T State was established in 1891 as a vocational college for black students. Today, the college is recognized as a top-notch research university with the best college of engineering in the country. It has produced the most black engineers who pursue a master’s or terminal degree in their chosen field.

Hampton University ­– Hampton, Va.

Hampton University was established in 1868 as a school that would teach freedmen and their children to enter into citizenship. The university offers more than 75 different degree programs in 40 areas of study across 11 schools. Hampton also holds the rare distinction of being the only HBCU to ever have 100 percent control over a NASA mission.

Morehouse College – Atlanta

Morehouse was founded in 1867 as a private institution for men and has graduated more black men than any other school. The college’s mission includes educating students about black history and culture through programs and scholarships. Martin Luther King Jr. and Spike Lee are Morehouse alumni.

Florida A&M University – Tallahassee, Fla.

Florida A&M was founded in 1887 as an institution dedicated to African-American education. The university offers 54 bachelor’s degrees, 29 master’s degrees, three professional degrees and 12 doctoral programs. These programs have increased black student involvement in science, technology, engineering and math.

Fisk University – Nashville, Tenn.

Fisk was founded in 1866, shortly after the end of the Civil War. As part of its core curriculum, Fisk students must take one course that explores African-American literature and African history. The university also is home to the first chapter of the Phi Beta Kappa Society on a predominantly black campus.

First Generation Students, Low Income Students, Scholarships

Scholarships for Low-Income and First-Generation Students

No Comments 13 February 2017

Coming from a low-income household or being a first-generation college student can earn you money for college. Take a look at this list to see which scholarships you might be eligible for.

George Geng On Lee Minorities in Leadership Scholarship – This scholarship is for low-income, minority students from the San Francisco Bay area. Applicants must be enrolled as full-time undergraduate students at an accredited not-for-profit, four-year institution for the upcoming fall term. The award for this scholarship is typically $1,000.

Coca-Cola First Generation ScholarshipFirst-generation college students are eligible for this scholarship. This award is available at more than 400 colleges across the country. Contact the school you plan on attending to see if they offer this scholarship and how you might apply.

William F. Gandert Memorial Scholarship – This scholarship is for residents of federally assisted, low-income housing or recipients of Section 8 voucher rent assistance that demonstrate both merit and need. Applicants must be U.S. citizens or legal permanent residents with a valid Social Security number, and demonstrate community leadership. Applicants only can apply for one scholarship offered by the NLHA Education Fund per application cycle.

The Villa Esperanza Scholarship – This scholarship is open to first-generation college students who have enrolled at Austin Community College, The University of Texas at Austin, St. Edward’s University, Concordia University, Huston-Tillotson, Texas State University or Southwestern University. The award for this scholarship is typically $2,000.

AIMCO Cares Opportunity Scholarship – This scholarship is for recipients of Section 8 voucher rent assistance that demonstrate both merit and need or residents of federally assisted low-income housing. Applicants must hold a minimum 2.5 GPA and be U.S. citizens or legal permanent residents with a valid Social Security number. Applicants only can apply for one scholarship offered by the NLHA Education Fund per application cycle.

I’m First Scholarship – This award is for a first-generation college student seeking financial aid and scholarship support for college, who has strong writing skills and a unique perspective and demonstrates leadership in their community. Undocumented students are eligible and strongly encouraged to apply. The award for this scholarship is typically $1,000.

Inland Empire Scholarship Fund – This scholarship is for low-income, high-achieving Latino students from San Bernardino and Riverside Counties in California. Applicants must be college-bound high school seniors who demonstrate high academic achievement and community service experience. The award amount for this scholarship typically ranges between $500-$1,500.

Diversity, Undocumented Students

College Options for Undocumented Students

No Comments 08 February 2017

Although there is no federal law that requires proof of citizenship to be admitted to U.S. colleges, undocumented students face their own set of hurdles in the application process. Here are some institutions and states that make college more attainable for undocumented students.

Private Colleges that Accept Undocumented Students as Domestic Students

Many colleges consider undocumented students to be international students, which means that undocumented students might have to compete with other international students for a limited pool of financial aid. But, when a college considers an undocumented student to be domestic, the student will be more likely to receive a good financial aid package.

The following private colleges have public policies on their acceptance of undocumented students as domestic students:

  1. Pomona College (Claremont, Calif.)
  2. Oberlin College (Oberlin, Ohio)
  3. Tufts University (Medford, Mass.)
  4. Emory University (Atlanta)

States That Offer Undocumented Students In-State Tuition

Undocumented students, including students with Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) status, are not eligible to receive federal financial aid. However, undocumented students may be eligible for state student financial aid in some states.

Undocumented students who attended high school for at least the last two years in certain states could be eligible for in-state tuition. As of 2015, the following states allow undocumented students to pay in-state tuition:

  1. California
  2. Colorado
  3. Connecticut
  4. Florida
  5. Illinois
  6. Kansas
  7. Maryland
  8. Minnesota
  9. Nebraska
  10. New Jersey
  11. New Mexico
  12. New York
  13. Oregon
  14. Texas
  15. Utah
  16. Washington

A number of these states also allow undocumented students to receive state-level financial aid. Reach out to college financial aid offices to learn more.

Colleges That Meet 100 Percent of Financial Need for Undocumented Students

College Greenlight has a list of more than 30 colleges that meet 100 percent of demonstrated financial need for undocumented students. These colleges pledge to meet a student’s full need through grants, student employment, scholarships, and, in some cases, student loans. Schools on this list vary in the ways they meet undocumented students’ demonstrated financial need.

Apply to College, Diversity, First Generation Students, Resources

College Application Tips for First-Generation Students

No Comments 01 February 2017

Resources for first-generation college students are abundant — you just need to know where to look. Here are a few tips to help you get started on the college-application process.

Attend Fly-In Programs and College Fairs

It’s vital to know about a college before you apply. Seeing a campus in person is drastically different than experiencing it behind a computer screen.

Traveling to a college for a campus visit can get expensive, so some colleges offer fly-in programs to curb costs for prospective students. These programs cover transportation and allow you to see the school for yourself.

If a fly-in program is out of the question, attending a local college fair is a great alternative. Although you won’t be able to experience a college in-person, this gives you the opportunity to talk to a representative from that institution.

Research

If you have questions related to the college-application process, don’t be afraid to Google. Look up any terms on an application that you are unfamiliar with.

If you need further assistance, email or call an admission counselor. They can break down application requirements and financial aid into easy-to-follow steps. Once you have narrowed down your college list, search for “first-generation students” on a college’s website to see what resources are available.

Sign Up for a Summer Program

A summer program is the best way to learn about a college’s culture and curriculum. First-generation students can feel out of place at college. Attending a summer program can ease the transition to college and ensure students are up for the challenge of college courses. Not every summer program provides financial aid to its participants, so take a look at this list of programs that do.

Ask For Help

Although your parents may not be able to guide you through this process, you don’t have to go through it alone. Share your goals with your family. They can offer emotional support and assist you in finding another family member, friend or organization that can to provide you with financial support or answer questions. Organizations like I’m First guide first-generation college students through this process.

African American Students, Diversity, Federal Loans

Student Loan Debts at Historically Black Colleges and Universities

No Comments 20 January 2017

People who attend historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs) typically have larger amounts of student loan debt than those at traditional universities. Debt loads at HBCU’s tend to be larger because many students are low-income and/or first-generation.

According to the United Negro College Fund’s report, FEWER RESOURCES, MORE DEBT: Loan Debt Burdens Students at Historically Black Colleges and Universities, HBCU students typically graduate with higher debt loads because they borrow at a higher rate than their non-HBCU peers. According to a 2013 study, HBCU students borrow an average of $26,266 in federal loans. Non-HBCU students borrow an average of $14,881.

HBCU students also have lower loan repayment rates than their non-HBCU counterparts. According to the report: “Seven years after leaving college, the average cohort repayment rate for HBCU students is considerably lower than that for students at non-HBCUs (59 percent vs. 85 percent).” This rate, however, does not include factors that impact repayment rates such as student economic status, labor market conditions and choice of educational program.

Another issue facing HBCU students is that more come from families with lower incomes than their non-HBCU peers. In 2005, the median family income of students at HBCUs was $28,400. That is about half the median family income ($51,400) for students who attend non-HBCUs. The discrepancy in income limits the ability of an HBCU student to pay for college. Thus, HBCU students have large amounts of unmet need that require them to take out student loans.

HBCU institutions have limited resources, which hinders their ability to provide grants to students. In 2015, the top 10 HBCU endowments to provide grants to students ranged from $34 million to $660 million. The endowments for non-HBCU institutions that year ranged from $10 billion to $36 billion.

Suggestions to reduce the HBCU student debt loan

  • Policymakers should reduce the complicated nature of the federal student aid eligibility process and provide more aid to those in need
  • Grant aid and work-study opportunities should be increased
  • Federal loans should be less costly for students and their families
  • The federal student loan servicing system repayment process should be more manageable, effective and efficient

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