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Blog #12: COLLEGE ADMISSIONS - Apply to HBCUs With Ease Using The Common Black College Application

Updated: Aug 16, 2022



The surge in racial protests over the last months and the election of Kamala Harris as the nation’s first black and south Asian Vice President have brought an incredible spotlight to historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs). The nation’s HBCUs have a storied history. The earliest institutions were founded in the 1800s when segregation laws prohibited blacks from attending educational institutions with whites.


Benefits of HBCUs to Black Undergraduate Students


There are 107 HBCUs that represent just 3% of all higher-education institutions in the United States but educate 10% of all black students matriculating through U.S. colleges. According to a McKinsey Report, in 2019, 17% of bachelor’s degrees and 24% of STEM-related bachelor’s degrees earned by black students were conveyed by HBCUs. HBCUs as engines of black economic mobility | McKinsey. HBCUs supply more black applicants to medical school than white institutes, and have graduated 40% of all black engineers, 40% of all black U.S. congress members, 50% of all black lawyers, and 80% of all black judges.


The nation’s HBCUs have educated some of the nation’s greatest black leaders, professionals and artists:


· Dr. Martin Luther King and Spike Lee (Morehouse College),

· Rep. John Lewis and Diane Nash (Fisk University),

· Justice Thurgood Marshall, Ambassador Andrew Young, Vice President Kamala Harris, Atlanta Mayor Shirley Franklin and Chadwick Boseman (Howard University),

· Rev. Jesse Jackson (North Carolina A&T),

· Dr. Lasalle D. Leffall (Florida A&M University),

· Sociologist William Julius Wilson (Wilberforce University),

· Stacey Abrams (Spellman College),

· Oprah Winfrey (Tennessee State), and

· Rep. Kweisi Mfume (Morgan State).


In addition, McKinsey Reports on the qualitative benefits of the HBCU experience. HBCU graduates are more than twice as likely as black graduates from predominantly white institutions to report having experienced three major measures at school, which are having


· A professor who cared about them as a person,

· A professor who made them excited about learning, or

· A mentor who encouraged them to pursue their goals and dreams.


Common Black College Application


With all these benefits, we wanted to bring to your attention a way for your student to apply to HBCUs that is incredibly expedited and efficient. It is the “Common Black College (CBC) Application.” HOME (commonblackcollegeapp.com). The CBC Application links students to around 60 HBCUs. For an application fee of $35 ($20 in 2020), prospective students can select four preferred schools within the vast network of HBCUs, and, unlike the Common Application, students are not required to pay additional application fees for individual institutions.


The CBC Application does not include all HBCUs in its application network. As for the 40 HBCUs not included in the CBC Application, i.e., Howard University, Spellman College and Morehouse College to name a few, students must apply to those schools separately. In addition to saving money, the use of the CBC Application saves significant time because your student can apply to multiple colleges from a single application. A video introduction to the CBC Application is available here: Introduction To The Common Black College Application Dashboard - YouTube


Interested in applying to the HBCU Member Institutions of the CBC Application? CBCA: Registration (commonblackcollegeapp.com). Here’s a rundown on the application process:


· Click to Log In to complete the CBC Application. Students can pay the $35 fee through PayPal, credit/debit card, or send a check by mail.

· There is no fee-waiver and the fee is nonrefundable.

· Upload college admissions test scores in the Student Dashboard. Even if you have not taken a test, you can still complete the CBC Application.

· Your student’s high school counselor must create an account to upload your student’s official transcript in the School Counselor Dashboard.

· Your student’s application may not be processed by member institutions if test scores and transcript has not been uploaded to the Student Dashboard (some Member Institutions are test optional. Your student should check with the colleges they are interested in to inquire the testing requirements).

· Track your application in the Student Dashboard.

· Your student must list the top four Member Institutions they are interested in attending. The application, however, will be made available to all Member Institutions in the CBC Application network. The top-four preferences shown, however, is so that Member Institutions can gauge your student’s level of interest in their college.

· The Member Institutions may also consider your financial need in reviewing your CBC Application.

· Your student can contact specific college admissions officers through the portal’s Direct Message function in the Student Dashboard, or by email or phone.

· Any required essays and/or additional recommendations require students to check with the pertinent college or university to ensure that the application is complete.


Practice Application for 9th and 10th Grade Students


For those students who want to learn about the college application process early, the CBC Application has a “Practice Application” targeted to younger high school students (9th and 10th grades). CBCA: Registration (commonblackcollegeapp.com). This is a “practice college application” that prepares students early for the college process by providing relevant college information, including the multitude of offerings at HBCUs. That application is $3.00.


Good luck!



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