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Many HBCUs have seen a rise in applications since the summer of 2020, some upwards of 30%.
According to data studied by Date USA, many HBCUs have seen a surge in applications since the George Floyd protests in the summer of 2020.
It seems a national concerted effort has been made for racial equity in education within the last three years as HBCUs have been the focus of philanthropic dollars, highlighted in media coverage, and secured major network partnerships.
Applications to Morehouse College, a men’s HBCU, applications increased 60% in 2020 while applications at sister school Spelman College across the street increased nearly 300% from 2014 to 2021.
In 2022, Ralph Lauren partnered with Morehouse and Spelman in a licensing agreement creating ad campaigns featuring models from both schools and a clothing line highlighting traditional HBCU college gear.
Lauren committed to focus on clothes for HBCU students after protests following George Floyd’s murder in 2020. Noting that previous collections included nearly all-White models, Lauren said, “We’re catching up. We’re catching up with [the country’s] changes. And I want to be part of that change.”
HBCUs Receive Philanthropic Dollars
HBCUs have been the subject of recent injection of philanthropic dollars from wealthy celebrities looking to increase opportunities for students to attend.
According to a USA Today report, Tennis GOAT Serena Williams and actor Michael B. Jordan collaborated in 2021 on a contest to award $1 million to an HBCU student with an outstanding business plan. In 2020, actor Kevin Hart provided $600,000 in scholarships to 18 qualifying HBCU students.
HBCU GO, the nation’s top media platform for HBCUs, signed a deal in 2022 allowing football games to be shown on CBS stations in the fall. The new deal will allow for HBCU games to be available in 12 major U.S. markets, which would include 70% of Black households and 60% of all U.S. households.
“Allen Media Group is thrilled that the CBS O&O stations have joined our excellent group of broadcast television station partners to increase the reach of HBCU GO’s high-quality sports programming,” Byron Allen, the founder, chairman and CEO of Allen Media Group, said in a joint statement with CBS.
“We are proud to amplify these amazing athletes and HBCUs, while at the same time helping to finance the education of these young adults. Now sports fans across the country will have access to best-in-class games from America’s HBCUs.”
The HBCU dollars keep rolling in
Philanthropist Mackenzie Scott, who donated over $2.5 billion in 2021 to programs that support marginalized communities, gave more than $550 million to nearly two dozen HBCUs in 2020.
A docuseries called “March” aired in 2022 exploring HBCU marching band culture. The eight-part docuseries focused on The Marching Storm, the highest-ranked HBCU band from Prairie View A&M University.
“The world of the HBCUs has not been seen on American television this way,” said Warner Bros. TV Group Chairman Channing Dungey.