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How much does it typically cost to attend an HBCU?

As I'm finalizing my college list and trying to stay within a budget, I'm curious about the general cost range for Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs). What are the financial expectations, and is there a notable difference in cost compared to non-HBCU institutions? Any info on the most expensive ones would also be useful for planning my finances!

7 months ago

Financial planning for college is definitely important, and I'm glad you're considering it early on in your process. The cost to attend an HBCU can vary quite a bit, just like at any institution, depending on whether it is private or public, its location, and the range of facilities and programs it offers. Public HBCUs tend to cost less, especially if you're a resident of the state where the college is located, but private HBCUs will generally have a higher price tag.

For example, a public HBCU such as North Carolina A&T State University might have in-state tuition and fees around $6,500 per year, and out-of-state costs about $20,000. On the other hand, a private HBCU like Spelman College might have tuition and fees around $29,000 per year, which, to answer your question about some of the most expensive HBCUs, is about the upper bound of what you'd expect to see for tuition—Howard is another school with tuition in this range.

Keep in mind these figures don't include room, board, and other personal expenses, which can add approximately $10,000 to $15,000 to your annual costs. Comparing these to non-HBCU institutions, you might find public HBCUs to be less expensive than many public non-HBCUs for in-state students, while private HBCUs can be either less than or on par with other private non-HBCUs.

Financial aid opportunities may help bridge the gap between the sticker price and what's actually affordable for you. HBCUs also offer a variety of scholarships specific to their institution, so be sure to research each school's financial aid page for more info—Morehouse College, for example, is known for offering generous alumni-backed scholarships. As you evaluate your net cost, consider the role financial aid and scholarships could play.

Best of luck with sticking to your budget!

7 months ago

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