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Choosing a college or university is a difficult undertaking. In some instances, minority students face unique challenges when deciding which college or university best fits their academic needs. For many of these students, Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU) provide an attractive environment. Here are several reasons why attending an HBCU is beneficial:

Campus Community. Going away to school is exciting but it can also lead to loneliness and anxiety. HBCUs provide students with a great deal of community support while encouraging community involvement.

Excellent Academic Reputation. HBCUs such as Howard, Spellman, Morehouse, Hampton, and Xavier have produced a significant number of Black professionals. With world-renowned professors and programs, students receive a great education.

History and Legacy. Historically Black institutions were founded to provide freed slaves with a college education. These institutions are responsible for producing some of the greatest American thinkers including Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. (Morehouse), and Toni Morrison (Howard).

Alumni Networks. Large alumni networks benefit students as they move into the workforce. These networks help students secure internships, provide career advancement, and attain graduate degrees.

Leadership. HBCUs encourage students to become leaders in their respective fields. Through coursework and community involvement, students develop leadership skills.

Diversity. Although these universities were designed to cater to Black Americans, they have never been exclusive to a single race. People of all races and nationalities can and do attend HBCUs.

Extracurricular Activities. Sports, bands, and Greek Life are all popular facets of the HBCU experience. Students who are interested in exploring activities outside of academia will have plenty of opportunities at an HBCU.

Ideal Locations. Although most HBCUs are located in the southern portion of the United States, many are also in or near major cities such as Atlanta and Washington D.C. Location is important because students will be near major industries and Fortune 500 companies.

Course Offerings. Historically Black Colleges provide a wide range of classes on a plethora of different subjects, especially as it pertains to the African American experience and culture.

Private and Public Institution Options. There are a total of 102 HBCUs in the country. These are both public and private institutions with a range of tuition costs and scholarships. Student enrollment numbers also vary from just over 10,000 to fewer than 2,000 students.