More than 270,000 students attend the nation’s 105 Historically Black Colleges and Universities. The majority of these institutions were founded by former slaves following the Civil War to provide educational opportunities for blacks when there were none.
For years these schools have grappled with serious problems such as low retention and graduation rates, competition with mainstream institutions, and a reputation for academic mediocrity. The biggest problem, however, is money: 80% of the students at Historically Black Colleges need financial aid.
Despite the odds, leaders like Johnnetta Cole of Bennett College and Walter Broadnax of Clark Atlanta University are finding answers and ensuring that the schools thrive for years to come.
(Originally aired February 25, 2004)
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