Why Does Howard University Have No Money? – via Thinking While Black

Howard University has no money because we (Black people) have no money.

LONGER ANSWER: Howard University has no money because we have no money, and it spends all of its money to attempt to provide for its students in a way that only really Ivy League schools and highly-selective PWIs do.


Let’s look at the statistics:

40% of our students are First Generation in College
95% of our students are supported by some type of scholarship, grant, loan, or other type of student assistance
48% of our students pay nothing out of pocket to attend this school.

MEANING: Through scholarships, grants, or other financial aid (Not including loans) Howard is FULLY financing the education of nearly half of its student body.

They could take away the awarding of automatic scholarships, and make that a separate application. It would save millions of dollars a year, but it would also drive away some of the best and brightest students to highly selective PWIs.

And that’s not the goal.

The goal is to educate the smartest black minds into the smartest Black Leaders.

So why is Administration in a continual state of disrepair?
Because this school laid off about a third of its staff over the summer to be able to hire new teachers to instruct one of the largest classes in school history

Why have the scholarship requirements been raised?
Because this incoming class is so brilliant that had the requirements not been increased, nearly every freshman would have some type of scholarship, something we DEFINITELY can’t afford.

Why have so many scholarship appeals been denied?
Because Howard plainly does not have the money to sustain a growing pool of scholars for 4 years. Fucking tragic, but blame the Republicans in Congress who love cutting Howard’s funding, not the university itself.

Why is financial aid closed/dysfunctional? Why does the Wifi/cable not work? Why are the buildings crumbling?
Because in spite of all the cutbacks, there still isn’t enough money to go around. There are staff out here essentially being asked to volunteer their time in order to provide the infrastructure for us to get an education, and still we can’t keep everything operational. This University has decided to prioritize putting an instructor at the front of every classroom over a television at the foot of every bed precisely because it wants to minimize the impact these budget cuts have on a driven student’s ability to get an education.

Why are all the freshman intake orgs banned?
OPINION: Lol with the possible exception of FLA (because it provides the opportunity for students to travel abroad that many would never otherwise get) and a couple of others that I won’t name, I honestly couldn’t give a damn. Too many promising freshmen are getting pledged out of college for me to be that bothered by the moratorium. And if GPAs are higher after this year, maybe ya’ll won’t miss them either.

No doubt. There is laziness, and a shitload of mismanagement, and incompetence THROUGHOUT HU. But beneath that scummy exterior is the fundamental drive to provide every student with the OPPORTUNITY to become a Black Leader. Not an ASSURANCE, not a GUARANTEE, but the opportunity to succeed, with the expectation that once they have succeeded, they’ll lift a few people up behind them.

Don’t believe the hype?

Howard Univeristy is 25th out of the 539 top institutions of higher education when it comes to lifting people out of poverty (Social Mobility Index).      Harvard and Yale? 438th and 440th, respectively.

Howard University Hospital loses $100 million dollars a year because it is the only remaining university hospital in Washington, D.C. that continues to cater to low- and middle- income patients.

Howard University Medical School is one of the top educators of doctors that go on to serve underserved and disadvantaged communities. Period.

Howard University’ s Moorland Springarn Research Center has the second-largest collection of African American historical texts in the world (previously the largest, until many of its documents were donated to help found the upcoming Smithsonian African-American history museum). And this collection can be browsed for free, at any time, by any student.

Howard University’s W. Montague Cobb Research Lab has two of the largest collections of African-American human archaeological remains, and the third largest collection of any sort of human remains in the country, available for students to research.

Howard University produces more black doctors (PhD and MD combined) than any other school in the world, and has a disproportionate number of its undergraduates go on to seek advanced degrees. This is true for most HBCUs.

Howard University is one of the top producers of Teach For America participants, and no school produces as high a ratio of TFA participants per student.

No other school sent Alternative Spring Break participants to the heart of black anguish in Ferguson to help with voter registration, and at no other school do literally thousands of students wake up at dawn and shuffle to Cramton to give back to DC in the completely voluntary Day of Service Activities. 

This School Takes Black Excellence and Builds Black Leaders.

Want to know why Howard University is so broke?

Because that’s what it looks like when a University devotes ALL of its resources to lifting up its students.

Because this is what it looks like when a University gives till it hurts.

Because that’s what it looks like when a quarter of your funding is derived from a government of old rich white men who don’t understand the reason for your continued existence.

So absolutely, get your protest on. I’ll be out there with you, demanding the  university fix all of the things it can control.

But as for the things that it can’t, not only is it counterproductive to blame this institution, it plays into the dripping racism of larger society.

Take Back HU.


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