On #BernieSanders, #FreeCollege and More Conservative, Disinterested Southern Blacks | Blog#42

On Bernie Sanders, Free College and More Conservative, Disinterested Southern Blacks

An awful lot of pundits, from Nobel Laureates down to top social justice columnists have been been working overtime in their attempts at demolishing Bernie Sanders’ platform planks. Most of the time, the tack used is purely emotional, with no data or analysis used in the argumentation. We’ve been sold everything from Sanders ideas are good, but they are the stuff of pipe dreams to “it can’t be done.”

Today, in a Facebook video, Charles Blow lobbed a new charge against a staple of Sanders’ platform, free college, intimating that Southern Blacks won’t be attracted to that promise because, especially for those who go to Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs), there is no need for such a promise as Pell Grants already cover their tuition.

First, here is Charles Blow:

Now, let’s look at tuition and enrollments at HBCUs. Remember, the vast majority of these schools have enrollments that are far lower than the overall populations they serve. According to CNN, 70.9% of Black high school graduates enrolled in colleges. According to Essence Magazine, fewer students are choosing to attend HBCU’s.

This is a very odd tack for the usually well-prepared Charles Blow to take, as he is among the most numerate journalists working today. But then again, given the way his newspaper has approached its coverage of Sanders, I suppose it’s par for the course.

I too did my homework and found that precious few are the HBCU’s that charge less than $5,500 for a year’s tuition and fees, and contrary to Blow’s assertion in this video, his own alma mater, Grambling State University charges more, not less than a Pell Grant.

Grambling State University

In-state tuition and fees:
$7,063 (2015-16)
Out-of-state tuition and fees:
$16,282 (2015-16)
Enrollment:
3,524
Pell Grants are just about the only cash an eligible student can use to meet personal expenses like food, transportation or whatever else they need for themselves. Today, there are more homeless and hungry students than at any other time. Why would any student want to spend all of their Pell Grant on tuition and not books, supplies and their daily needs throughout the year?
Most importantly, why put out such a whopper? Who do these types of untruths and half-truths serve? How is this in good faith? How is this in the best interest of the readers one claims to serve? 

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Tuition at HBCUs

 

Spelman College
Tuition and fees: $26,388 (2015-16)
Enrollment:2,135

Howard University

Tuition and fees:$23,970 (2015-16)
Enrollment:7,013

Hampton University

Tuition and fees:$23,100 (2015-16)
Enrollment:3,504

Morehouse College

Tuition and fees:$26,090 (2014-15)
Enrollment:2,109

Tuskegee University

$21,535 (2015-16)
Enrollment:2,588

Xavier University of Louisiana

$22,349 (2015-16)
Enrollment:2,359

Fisk University

$20,858 (2014-15)
Enrollment:730

Claflin University

$15,650 (2015-16)
Enrollment:1,803

North Carolina A&T State University

In-state tuition and fees:
$5,872 (2015-16)
Out-of-state tuition and fees:
$18,632 (2015-16)
Enrollment:
9,203

Florida A&M University

In-state tuition and fees:
$5,784 (2015-16)
Out-of-state tuition and fees:
$17,726 (2015-16)
Enrollment:
8,495

Tougaloo College

Tuition and fees:
$10,600 (2015-16)
Enrollment:
900

North Carolina Central University

In-state tuition and fees:
$5,755 (2015-16)
Out-of-state tuition and fees:
$17,793 (2015-16)
Enrollment:
5,917

Jackson State University

In-state tuition and fees:
$6,602 (2014-15)
Out-of-state tuition and fees:
$16,174 (2014-15)
Enrollment:
7,199

Dillard University

Tuition and fees:
$16,252 (2015-16)
Enrollment:
1,200

Bennett College

$17,130 (2014-15)
Enrollment:
633

Johnson C. Smith University

Tuition and fees:
$18,336 (2015-16)
Enrollment:
1,375

Lincoln University

In-state tuition and fees:
$11,606 (2015-16)
Out-of-state tuition and fees:
$16,398 (2015-16)
Enrollment:
1,589

Elizabeth City State University

In-state tuition and fees:
$4,497 (2014-15)
Out-of-state tuition and fees:
$16,172 (2014-15)
(enrollment unavailable)

Clark Atlanta University

Tuition and fees:
$20,886 (2015-16)
Enrollment:
2,567

Morgan State University

In-state tuition and fees:
$7,378 (2014-15)
Out-of-state tuition and fees:
$16,862 (2014-15)
Enrollment:
6,302

Delaware State University

In-state tuition and fees:
$7,532 (2015-16)
Out-of-state tuition and fees:
$16,138 (2015-16)
Enrollment:
4,012

Tennessee State University

In-state tuition and fees:
$7,128 (2015-16)
Out-of-state tuition and fees:
$21,287 (2015-16)
Enrollment:
7,073

Bethune-Cookman University

Tuition and fees:
$14,410 (2014-15)
Enrollment:
3,900

Bowie State University

In-state tuition and fees:
$7,657 (2015-16)
Out-of-state tuition and fees:
$18,140 (2015-16)
Enrollment:
4,456

Alabama Agricultural and Mechanical University

In-state tuition and fees:
$9,096 (2015-16)
Out-of-state tuition and fees:
$16,596 (2015-16)
Enrollment:
4,210

Fayetteville State University

In-state tuition and fees:
$5,265 (2015-16)
Out-of-state tuition and fees:
$16,873 (2015-16)
Enrollment:
5,247

Albany State University

In-state tuition and fees:
$6,258 (2015-16)
Out-of-state tuition and fees:
$19,078 (2015-16)
Enrollment:
3,316

Alcorn State University

In-state tuition and fees:
$6,200 (2014-15)
Enrollment:
3,006

University of Arkansas–Pine Bluff

In-state tuition and fees:
$5,956 (2014-15)
Out-of-state tuition and fees:
$11,626 (2014-15)
Enrollment:
2,401

University of Maryland–Eastern Shore

In-state tuition and fees:
$7,625 (2015-16)
Out-of-state tuition and fees:
$16,687 (2015-16)
Enrollment:
3,571

Winston-Salem State University

In-state tuition and fees:
$5,583 (2014-15)
Out-of-state tuition and fees:
$15,113 (2014-15)

Alabama State University

In-state tuition and fees:
$8,720 (2015-16)
Out-of-state tuition and fees:
$15,656 (2015-16)
Enrollment:
4,803

Prairie View A&M University

In-state tuition and fees:
$9,460 (2014-15)
Out-of-state tuition and fees:
$20,928 (2014-15)
Enrollment:
6,890

Kentucky State University

In-state tuition and fees:
$7,404 (2014-15)
Out-of-state tuition and fees:
$17,214 (2014-15)
Enrollment:
1,754

Philander Smith College

$12,414 (2015-16)
Enrollment:
567

Norfolk State University

In-state tuition and fees:
$8,366 (2015-16)
Out-of-state tuition and fees:
$20,124 (2015-16)
Enrollment:
5,356

Virginia State University

In-state tuition and fees:
$8,226 (2015-16)
Out-of-state tuition and fees:
$17,760 (2015-16)

South Carolina State University

In-state tuition and fees:
$10,088 (2015-16)
Out-of-state tuition and fees:
$19,856 (2015-16)
Enrollment:
2,791

Fort Valley State University

In-state tuition and fees:
$6,448 (2014-15)
Out-of-state tuition and fees:
$18,954 (2014-15)
Enrollment:
2,229

Grambling State University

In-state tuition and fees:
$7,063 (2015-16)
Out-of-state tuition and fees:
$16,282 (2015-16)
Enrollment:
3,524
To see tuition and enrollment rates for the remainder of America’s HBCUs, click here.