Why Some HBCUs Have More White, Hispanic Students

Competition for stellar African-American students is so stiff, some institutions now fill the gap with low-income students, creating more challenges to the bottom line.

National Journal
Sophie Quinton
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Sophie Quinton
Feb. 10, 2014, midnight

Cor­rec­tion: An earli­er ver­sion of this re­port mis­takenly used a photo of  high school gradu­ates at Howard Uni­versity’s aud­it­or­i­um, and the ac­com­pa­ny­ing cap­tion mis­rep­res­en­ted Howard’s en­roll­ment of Afric­an-Amer­ic­an stu­dents. The en­roll­ment is not in de­cline. 

Here’s a roundup of the edu­ca­tion art­icles that caught Next Amer­ica’s eye from Feb. 3 to 10. All ad­dress trends that par­tic­u­larly af­fect minor­ity stu­dents.

TROUBLE MOUNTS AT HIS­TOR­IC­ALLY BLACK COL­LEGES AND UNI­VERSIT­IES. En­roll­ment chal­lenges at Howard Uni­versity il­lu­min­ate broad­er prob­lems fa­cing HB­CUs, not­ably com­pet­i­tion from elite col­leges to re­cruit the best Afric­an-Amer­ic­an stu­dents. Today, en­roll­ment is shrink­ing and stu­dents are in­creas­ingly low-in­come. Two his­tor­ic­ally black col­leges are now pre­dom­in­antly white, and one is pre­dom­in­antly His­pan­ic. The New York Times

FREE COM­MUNITY COL­LEGE? MORE LAW­MAKERS BACK­ING THE IDEA. Ten­ness­ee Gov. Bill Haslam, a Re­pub­lic­an, has pro­posed provid­ing two years of free com­munity- or tech­nic­al-col­lege edu­ca­tion to high school gradu­ates. Haslam wants to cre­ate an en­dowed schol­ar­ship, seeded with state lot­tery re­serves. Mean­while, Mis­sis­sippi and Ore­gon le­gis­lat­ors are also con­sid­er­ing mak­ing com­munity col­lege free. The Chron­icle of High­er Edu­ca­tion, The Ore­go­ni­an

THE RE­TURN OF THE TI­GER MOTH­ER. Re­mem­ber Amy Chua, self-de­scribed Ti­ger Moth­er? The Yale Law School pro­fess­or is out with a new book, coau­thored with hus­band Jed Ruben­feld, that at­tempts to identi­fy three cul­tur­al traits — which they call “su­peri­or­ity com­plex,” “in­sec­ur­ity,” and “im­pulse con­trol.” They make cer­tain groups more aca­dem­ic­ally suc­cess­ful. Un­sur­pris­ingly, the book has been con­tro­ver­sial. “We think the facts ac­tu­ally de­bunk ra­cial ste­reo­types,” Ruben­feld said. NPR

AMER­ICA’S FIRST IS­LAM­IC FRA­TERN­ITY. Al­pha Lambda Mu — the first Is­lam­ic fra­tern­ity to hit U.S. cam­puses — now has chapters in Texas, Cali­for­nia, and New York. At the Uni­versity of San Diego, ini­ti­ation in­volves morn­ing pray­er and set­ting goals for the com­ing semester, rather than beer pong and haz­ing. However, the chapter already has lost four pledges — at­trib­uted to “part-time jobs and gruel­ing study sched­ules.” The New York Times

ARE STU­DENTS BE­ING TAUGHT HOW TO READ SPAN­ISH COR­RECTLY? Amer­ic­an stu­dents learn­ing to read Eng­lish are of­ten taught phon­et­ic­ally — to sound out the com­pon­ents of an un­fa­mil­i­ar word. But that may not make sense for stu­dents learn­ing to read Span­ish, ac­cord­ing to a new study from Stan­ford’s Gradu­ate School of Edu­ca­tion. The find­ing has rami­fic­a­tions for bi­lin­gual edu­ca­tion in the U.S., and — more gen­er­ally — could change the way Span­ish-speak­ing stu­dents are taught to read in their nat­ive lan­guage. Stan­ford Gradu­ate School of Edu­ca­tion

GOV­ERNORS LAY OUT EDU­CA­TION AGEN­DAS. After years of state budget cuts, edu­ca­tion sys­tems may be in for a fund­ing boost this year — at least in some spe­cif­ic areas. State gov­ernors are throw­ing their weight be­hind work­force train­ing, ex­pan­sion of early-child­hood edu­ca­tion, and part­ner­ships with busi­nesses. The Pew Char­it­able Trusts’ Stateline has a roundup of pro­pos­als in this year’s State of the State speeches. Stateline

ICYMI: Re­cent Next Amer­ica Edu­ca­tion Stor­ies

WHAT’S THE VALUE OF A $10,000 DE­GREE? The Flor­ida Col­lege Sys­tem’s low-cost, work­force-ori­ented de­grees could serve gradu­ates just as well as a lib­er­al-arts dip­loma from a pub­lic uni­versity. By Soph­ie Quin­ton

THE UN­IN­TEN­DED DARK SIDE OF TEST­ING KIDS. Roundup: Rep. George Miller, a force be­hind the No Child Left Be­hind le­gis­la­tion, says he nev­er an­ti­cip­ated the land­mark edu­ca­tion law would ig­nite a test­ing ob­ses­sion. By Jody Bran­non

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