HBCUs, College Costs, and Money – Why You Should Care

I just finished reading a post in the Higher Education blog about Historically Black Colleges and Universities and I’m fighting mad.

the six-year graduation rates of 83 four-year HBCUs last year, finding that just 37 percent of black students attained degrees within six years. More striking than the low completion rate was the fact that the national college graduation rate for black students is actually 4 percentage points higher than that of HBCUs collectively, calling into question the long-held notion that HBCUs are better at graduating African Americans.

It’s not only the fact that only 37% of students at HBCUS are graduating after 6 years that’s getting me riled up. The part that stuck out to me the most is:

Asked about graduation rates Thursday, Education Sector panelists suggested that funding levels could not be discounted as a significant drag on student success at HBCUs.

“A lot of that [graduation] rate …. is grounded in money, lack of money,” Wilson said.

Some HBCU officials say they still encounter hundreds of academically eligible students each year who drop out of college because their financial need cannot be met with Pell Grants and other aid. The vast majority of HBCUs have small endowments, so there isn’t a pot of money to dip into when financial challenges arise.

I take two things from this:

1) Many students of color rely on financial aid to pay for college costs. To make sure that students of color have access to the funds they need financial educators like myself have to:
– Make sure that parents have access to more information about saving for college early and regularly.
– Reach students to plan for college costs earlier.
– Help students of color save and aggressively seek scholarships and grants.
– Assist families of color in better understanding college costs and finding the school with the best fit for them.

2) Students that graduated from HBCUs aren’t supporting the colleges and universities financially as much as they could. I wonder if there is an opportunity to assist HBCU students, and potential graduates, in becoming more successful and understanding how their contributing to their alma maters contributes to building a strong community.

I think we all know the reasons we want more youth to have access to higher education. More young people in college means fewer young people getting into trouble with the law or getting stuck in low wage jobs. If we want our communities to be strong then we have to do what it takes to support others that are striving for positivity.

In an effort to reach more HBCU students I’m making an effort to share my new book 10 Things College Students Need to Know About Money with all 105 HBCUs in the United States. To kick things off I’ll be visiting Fayetville, Atlanta, Birmingham, Jackson, and Dallas-Ft. Worth this August.

Want Shay to visit your school? Call Shay!

Cash Savvy Kids FREE Teleseries

I’m so excited that I’ve been invited to be a part of the Cash Savvy Kids Teleseries hosted by Raising CEO Kids! You’ll be able to listen to experts in the field of youth development and personal finance April 28, 29, and 30 talk about strategies to help your kids become cash savvy.

Each expert will provide an audio interview about their area of expertise and some great bonuses just for registering.

I’m giving away a bonus worth $20! Register now to get access to:

* Three Checklists: Adult, Student, Teen.
* Learn what you need to do now to take control of your finances.
* Use the Checklists to figure out what areas you need to work on.
* Use the Checklists with your children to help them better understand personal finance.

Zahra’s Bookstore Meet & Greet

This Saturday, April 3rd I’ll be signing copies of Money Matters: The Get It Done in 1 Minute Workbook. Come by between 2pm – 4pm.

Bring your teens!

Youth development speaker and author Shay Olivarria will discuss the 5 things we should be doing now to master our money. Lecture will be followed by a Q & A session and book signing for Money Matters: The Get It Done in 1 Minute Workbook.

This free event should not be missed.

Zahra’s Books N Things in Inglewood from 2pm – 4pm.

Shay Olivarria has worked with Upward Bound, Orangewood Children’s Foundation, and several other youth organizations and universities. Her second book, “10 Things College Students Need to Know About Money” will be out May 2010.

Books available online at: Amazon, Barnes & Nobles, and Powells.
Books available in store at:

Zahara’s Books
900 N. La Brea
Inglewood, CA

Smiley’s Books
22709 Avalon
Carson, CA

The Dock Bookshop
6637 Meadowbrook Dr
Fort Worth, TX 76112

Nubian Bookstore
2445 Southlake Mall
Morrow, GA

Malcolm’s Reading Room
404 17th St. North
Birmingham, AL

Univ. of New Mexico Scholarships Totaling $3,500

From University of New Mexico:

UNM Parent Association Accepting Applications for Scholarships The UNM Parent Association is accepting applications for its first scholarship awards. Scholarships totaling $3,500 will be awarded for 2009-10 to support the success of currently enrolled UNM students. Applicants will be ranked based on financial need and academic achievement. Additional consideration will also be given to first-generation students. Deadline to apply is June 1. The board of directors would like to thank UNM staff who supported the scholarship program through a purchase of UNM’s official ornament.

Parent Association scholarship requirements, include:
• Enrolled full-time at the University of New Mexico
• Minimum 2.5 cumulative G.P.A.
• In sophomore or junior year during award year (for undergraduates)
• In master’s or doctoral program during award year (for graduate student)

For more information visit: Parent Association Scholarship.

Scholarship for Undocumented Students in Los Angeles

FUTUROS EDUCATIONAL SERVICES

Promoting College Access for Low Income and Immigrant Communities

FIRST ANNUAL

Funding Your Future Scholarship

Application Deadline is: Tuesday, June 30th, 2009

AWARD AMOUNTS WILL RANGE FROM $500-$1500

All application materials must arrive by Tuesday, 6/30, mailed together in a large envelope to:

Scholarship Program

Futuros Educational Services

6721 Leland Way #24

Los Angeles, CA 90028

If you have questions, please contact Paz Oliverez at 310.923.0803 or by email at poliverez@futuros-california.org.

Minimum Student Requirements (High School Students):

· Be an undocumented immigrant student

· Have at least a 2.5 grade point average

· Be attending a high school in the Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD)

· Be available for future participation in Futuros College Access Mentoring Program (CAMP)

· Demonstrate financial need

Minimum Student Requirements (College Students):

· Be an undocumented immigrant student

· Have at least a 2.5 grade point average

· Be attending an accredited institution of higher education (i.e., CA Community College, CSU, UC, private college/university) located in southern California

· Be available for future participation in Futuros College Access Mentoring Program (CAMP)

· Demonstrate financial need

FINALISTS will also be required to participate in an in-person interview.