Our nation’s international competitive position depends in part on the quality of higher education that it provides all its citizens. It is fortunate we have an array of higher educational institutions, including historically Black colleges and universities (HBCUs) and minority-serving institutions (MSIs) that serve the unique needs of a diverse population that seeks equal access to higher education.
The nation’s diverse 105 HBCUs, serving more than 300,000 undergraduate, graduate and professional students, constitute an important segment of the higher education community that can help reach our nation’s higher education goals. Forty-nine percent of them are private four-year institutions, 38 percent are four-year public institutions, 10 percent are two-year public institutions, and 3 percent are two-year private institutions.
HBCUs have played an indispensable role in the general development of our nation and the Black community, especially in democratizing the public space, expanding civil rights, and enhancing concepts of humanity and diversity in higher education. HBCUs do not simply give Black and other students an opportunity to attend college. They provide students unique cultural, intellectual and psychological experiences that are essential to their identity and subsequent success in life. (Diverse Issues in Higher Education)