The death of Saint Paul's College
Saint Paul's College, a historically Black college founded in 1888 in partnership with the Episcopal Church, announced last week that it's shutting down and working to help current students transfer to other institutions.
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Since: Oct 09
#1 Jun 18, 2013
Sad news and another face, though it could look as a paradox, of white privilege.
"Black families are reeling from the Great Recession that stripped half of their wealth and an unemployment rate that nearly double the jobless rate for Whites.
“The economic crisis that we see today impacts all universities,” said Cooper.“If you don’t get the students, you really don’t maintain the enrollment base necessary to pay the cost associated with running a university.”
Recent changes to the Parent Loan for Undergraduate Students programs made it even harder for parents with weak credit histories to qualify for the loan. Students who attend historically Black colleges and universities rely on the loans at a higher rate than other groups.
Johnny C. Taylor, Jr., president and CEO of the Thurgood Marshall College Fund, said those changes coupled with anemic alumni support likely crippled St. Paul’s, but that a number of factors likely contributed to its demise.
“It’s a very sad day when any historic institution has to close its doors when we know that there is significant need for higher education in the African American community,” said Taylor.
The lack of alumni support and feeble endowments often stifle the growth of HBCUs when enrollment dips. The National Association for Equal Opportunity in Higher Education (NAFEO), a non-profit group that advocates for HBCUs, estimated that Black colleges have average endowments that are about one-eighth the size of average endowments at White schools.
Even alumni and private support at top-tiered HBCUs falls woefully behind the support at top White schools. The combined market value of endowments at Howard University in Washington, D.C.($460.7 million), Spelman College, in Atlanta, Ga.($309.1 million) and Hampton University, Hampton, Va.($232.5 million) were still about $29.4 billion less than the endowment of Harvard University in Cambridge, Mass.
“Unfortunately, in our community the only thing that we’re strongly socialized to give to is the church,” said Taylor.“That’s the biggest part of the problem.”
Taylor fears that it will take more closings of more HBCUs before the Black community wakes up and reacts to the crisis."
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