During his campaign the President Elect, Donald Trump, asked the black community “What the hell do you have to lose?” My answer to the president elect is — My HBCU.
Donald Trump’s politics have been unrealistic and out of touch for many within the black community. Given his victory, the demands and concerns of black people were not taken into consideration by those who elected him into office. It is foreseeable that with a Trump administration, HBCUs will continue to face unequal government funding and declining enrollment. As a community, we should be concerned about the future of our schools.
Throughout his campaign, Trump never mentioned higher education opportunities for blacks, instead he focused on crime and violence within inner cities as an attempt to earn black voters. What Trump has promised is a stripped down Department of Education and to get the federal government out of the student loan business. His plan is to transfer the student loan system back to private lenders. Federal loans provide lower interest rates than private loans and and also offer income based repayment program. In addition, traditionally speaking, the black community has not faired well with private lenders. Also, currently about 85% of HBCU students rely on Pell Grants, which is a federal funded program.
HBCUs have a history of producing graduates that excel after college. According to a study conducted by Insidehighered.com, about 55 percent of black HBCU graduates “strongly agreed” that their college or university “prepared them well for life outside of college,” in comparison to less than 30 percent of non-HBCU black graduates. HBCUs have also contributed ‘tremendously’ to this country by producing leaders such as Alice Walker, W.E.B DuBois, Thurgood Marshall, and Martin Luther King.
Instead of “Making America Great Again”, Donald Trump and his administration may destroy the foundation of America, including liberty, equality, and justice for all. A foundation that was largely built by HBCUs and their graduates.