Elsewhere online
March 09, 2015

Tapping Alumni Seen as Key to Survival for Black Colleges

Advocates for America's historically black colleges and universities say raising more money from alumni will be crucial to the fate of the institutions, many of which are struggling financially and get little philanthropic support relative to other institutions of higher learning, the Associated Press reports. The article focuses on South Carolina State University, which officials briefly mulled closing amid a fiscal crisis brought on by sharp cuts in state funding and decades of leadership strife.

Experts said the turmoil at South Carolina State has been a wake-up call for other HBCUs, which have seen enrollment drop with reductions in state funding and tighter eligibility for the federal grants and loans that support a disproportionate number of their students. "We've got to get alumni engaged," said John Taylor, president of the Thurgood Marshall College Fund, who termed giving levels by graduates of black colleges "embarrassing."