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HBCU or PWI??




Ever since I started visiting college campuses, I’ve been grappling with the constant debate on whether or not I attend a Predominately White Institution (PWI) or a Historically Black College or University (HBCU).  Contrary to most common perceptions, most HBCUs are not as run-down as one would think.  I’ve visited more than 15 HBCUs over the course of 2023, and only two of them really stood out to me.  My mother attended a PWI, while my father attended a HBCU, providing me with first hand insight into both experiences.  I’ve been considering both of their experiences when it comes to deciding which school I’m going to choose.  


The main PWI that I have my eyes set on is the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (UNC).  It's an amazing school and I loved the atmosphere when I visited the campus.  I was impressed by the dorms, amenities accessible by students, and the meal plans that they have when you attend college as a student living on campus.  There aren’t many colleges on my list that offer such nice dorms, but UNC has a large variety of options including different styled suites. One of my favorite student buildings is Granville Towers.  Granville Towers has apartments and condo styled rooms as well as Jack-And-Jill styled rooms.  When I attended a campus tour, we were given a tour of their student workshop.  Inside the workshop they have 3D printers, a fashion design area, and a wood-working section.  Another aspect that I appreciate is their connections that they have with real world brands and people,  preparing students for success in the real world. 


My top two HBCUs are Spelman College and North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University (NCAT).  Both of these colleges exude totally different energies but they are both great colleges.  Spelman has become a recent addition to my college list.  Initially, I had my doubts about Spelman due to their dorms.  A youtuber that I watched a few years ago also made it seem depressing and stressful.  However, after a recent visit in November of 2023, I fell in love with the campus and atmosphere.  Everywhere I went,  people were studious and appeared happy, creating an environment that felt almost like a PWI.  I loved how everyone who graduated from there is known to be either successful or semi successful.  If I were to rate this school, it would have 8.5 out of 10.  


On the other hand, NCAT is a great school with a fun, energetic, and party-like atmosphere.  Everyone I know who attended this school has described it as very enjoyable, with always something to do.  The only factor that might make me choose Spelman over NCAT is the dorms.  Although I have visited in person, I was not able to see the inside of the dorms, I could only view them virtually.  Other than that, the youtube videos that I have watched make the school seem amazing.  Additionally, my friend attends NCAT and has expressed how good their biology department is.  This is very important to me because it's my intended major.

Ultimately, as of right now I am still undecided but leaning more towards attending an HBCU.  Spelman seems like a great school, and I believe that it would genuinely benefit me in the long run once I graduate college.  I’ve heard that they have great connections and alumni that can assist you based on your desired career path.  NCAT also seems like a great school because of the culture and events that they offer.  Although I am unsure which school I would attend, I still have more PWIs and HBCUs to tour before I make my final decision.


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