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Duke University
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Unweighted GPA: 3.7
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How to decide between an HBCU and a PWI for college?

Yo everyone! I'm super torn between applying to an HBCU and a PWI. Like, I know there are cultural and perhaps academic differences, but what are the real deciding factors here? If anyone here has had to make that choice or is currently considering it, any advice or experiences you can share would be super helpful. I'm trying to figure out what environment would be the best fit for me academically and socially.

7 months ago

When considering these options, students often reflect on the kind of community and support systems they are looking for in their college experience.

HBCUs, historically, offer a unique cultural and educational experience that is rooted in the African American community, and for many students, especially Black students, this can be empowering and nurturing. These institutions also often boast smaller class sizes, which can make for a more intimate academic setting.

On the other hand, PWIs can offer a different kind of diversity, as there will likely be fewer Black students at these schools, but there may be more Hispanic, Asian, and international students than at an HBCU. Because these schools have not faced the same discrimination HBCUs have historically grappled with, they also may have more extensive, or well-established, resources and programs.

As you're deciding, think about what types of environments you thrive in. Are you looking for a place where you'll have shared cultural experiences with a majority of your peers, or are you interested in a setting where cultural diversity is broader and you can connect with people from varied backgrounds? That's an important question to ask yourself right off the bat.

Additionally, explore the academic programs and extracurricular opportunities each school offers that align with your career goals and interests. Visiting both types of institutions, talking to current students, and attending prospective student events can give you a personal feel for the environment.

Ultimately, the best school for you won't be determined by its categorization as an HBCU or PWI, but by its ability to support you academically, socially, and personally. Good luck with your search!

7 months ago

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