Tag Archives: endowments

The HBCU Endowment Feature – Savannah State University

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School Name: Savannah State University

Median Cost of Attendance: $19 703

Undergraduate Population: 4 386

Endowment Needed: $1 728 347 200

Analysis: Savannah State University needs an approximate $1.7 billion endowment for all of its undergraduates to attend debt free. Located in Savannah, Georgia, one of the South’s most historic cities with an estimated population of 142 000. The city’s population demographics are almost 60 percent African American giving it dominant social and political numbers. However, as in most cases the economics do not favor African Americans and null much of the social and political leverage. The most recent endowment numbers for Savannah State University show it to have a current endowment to needed endowment percentage of only 0.15 percent. Like almost all HBCUs the school needs enrollment growth, but for a peer-to-peer comparison it has a sizable population so the endowment size it somewhat a mystery. The halo effect that Atlanta should have on African American college graduates in Georgia should suggest a better fairing for their endowment. This suggest that there is possibly a disconnect between alumni and development. Savannah State University is in one of the premier locations in Georgia and the South. If location matters, then they need to make it a key point in their development strategy. It is one of those few schools that has the potential to skyrocket into the endowment conversation among HBCUs if it can find the right spigot to turn.

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The HBCU Endowment Feature – Mississippi Valley State University

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School Name: Mississippi Valley State University

Median Cost of Attendance: $12 872

Undergraduate Population: 2 090

Endowment Needed: $538 049 600

Analysis: Mississippi Valley State University needs an endowment of approximately $540 million for all of its undergraduates to attend debt free. The university is located in Itta Bena, Mississippi which is part of the Greenwood Micropolitan area and has a population of almost 50 000 with over 60 percent of the population being African American. Like all public HBCUs located in Mississippi its income demographics push against the school building a stout endowment. African Mississipians have one of the lowest median incomes in the nation. It has the lowest endowment need of all of the public HBCUs in Mississippi, but it also has the reported lowest current endowment. Despite having access to Jerry Rice’s millions the school has seemingly been unable to garner a large donation commitment from the former alum. The school boast one of the most affordable options in the state and begs the question why its undergraduate population is not more in line with the other two public HBCUs. Population growth is badly needed to deal with the low percentage of alumni giving that all HBCUs face. The university has gotten rid of out of state tuition, which should make it a more favorable destination for surrounding state prospects if it can leverage it. There is much work done to create a healthy endowment for Mississippi Valley State University and while it seems to have the tools at its disposal, it remains to be seen if there will be a strategy implemented to take advantage of them.

As always it should be noted that endowments provide a myriad of subsidies to the university for everything from scholarship, faculty & administration salaries, research, and much more.

The HBCU Endowment Feature – Albany State University

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School Name: Albany State University

Median Cost of Attendance: $17 982

Undergraduate Population: 4 187

Endowment Needed: $1 505 812 640

Analysis: Albany State University needs approximately an endowment of $1.5 billion for all of its undergraduates to attend debt free. It is located in Georgia’s eighth largest city which boast a population of almost 80 000 according to the last census. Albany is also a city where the African American population comprises over 70 percent of the population. The school’s current endowment is only 1 percent of the needed endowment. This is a note of concern given Albany State University has the second highest reported student loan debt per graduates in the SIAC and 90 percent of their graduates have some sort of student loan debt. The 90 percent is actually in line with the HBCU average, but still 35 percent above the national average. Being located in the southwestern part of Georgia gives the school geographic advantage to the panhandle of Florida for recruitment opportunities. Opportunities abound for Albany State University, but key to them will be finding a way to get alumni connected in such a way that their endowment is doubling every year for the next ten years. Otherwise, they will continue to be on the list of schools to watch and we have already seen in Georgia that merger talk is never far away.

As always it should be noted that endowments provide a myriad of subsidies to the university for everything from scholarship, faculty & administration salaries, research, and much more.

The HBCU Endowment Feature – University of Arkansas at Pine-Bluff

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School Name: University of Arkansas at Pine-Bluff

Median Cost of Attendance: $16 554

Undergraduate Population: 3 283

Endowment Needed: $1 086 935 680

Analysis: The University of Arkansas Pine-Bluff needs approximately a $1.1 billion endowment for all of its undergraduates to attend debt free. Located in Pine-Bluff, Arkansas which has the ninth largest population in the state. The school is located in a predominantly African American city but the last census shows over a 10 percent decline in the population over the past decade. A disturbing trend given that college towns on the rise tend to see a boom in their population and property values. They are also located only 45 minutes from Little Rock (pop. 200 000) which has a more than 40 percent African American population and less than 3 hours to Texarkana (pop. 143 000) which has more than 40 percent African American population as well. This triangle formation gives the University of Arkansas Pine-Bluff a strong base from which to start its growth and hopefully dominate the recruitment in the area. The university needs to at least double in size if not triple which could be extremely difficult to do given the demographic hurdles it would be facing. None the less rapid growth is needed in order to start to increase its probability of producing high quality donors. Currently, the school is not even at 2/1000th of its current to needed endowment ratio. The current endowment is of grave concern. Its primary competition is the University of Arkansas which is over 6 times its size but has an endowment almost 500 times its size. This leaves UAPB vulnerable in any resource battles within the state and region. They have a lot of work to do to improve their current endowment situation and make it competitive. If they do not address the issue they could be endangering their long-term viability.

As always it should be noted that endowments provide a myriad of subsidies to the university for everything from scholarship, faculty & administration salaries, research, and much more.

The HBCU Endowment Feature – Johnson C. Smith University

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School Name: Johnson C. Smith University

Median Cost of Attendance: $25 862

Undergraduate Population: 1 543

Endowment Needed: $798 101 280

Analysis: Johnson C. Smith University needs approximately $800 million for all of its undergraduates to attend debt-free annually. The university is located in Charlotte, NC. North Carolina is a crowded region of colleges and universities and at times can be both a gift and curse. In such a crowded area it can be hard to stand out and recruit top tier academic talent but there is an appeal to high school students wanting to gravitate toward multi-college hubs. Johnson C. Smith has the current distinction of leading the CIAA with the highest student debt loads among graduates. A distinction that does not bode well for generating future alumni donations and should be an imperative for JCSU leadership to address. US News reports that Johnson C. Smith’s endowment is currently $50 million which makes it one-sixteenth of the needed endowment. One of the highest current to needed endowment ratios of all HBCUs which shows of development strength. The university is well on its way into the $100 million club at its current clip. Given its large initiative in the STEM field mixed with its liberal arts atmosphere has the opportunity to produce an unique graduate that will be in high demand among graduate schools and employers. This could be quite beneficial with North Carolina’s Research Triangle Park right up the road and could pay huge dividends in producing high quality donors in the coming generation. The connection to the Duke Endowment is certainly a strong assistance for its growth. Ultimately, this is one of the few HBCUs whose endowment outlook appears quite stable. The question is whether it can move into a next gear and grow and expand its clout in one of the most important economic centers in the south for African America is yet to be seen. If it addresses the student loan debt concerns and push its population towards 4 000 students it has a real chance to break into the upper echelons of HBCU endowments. Regardless, Johnson C. Smith University is an HBCU with an endowment that should allow for the institution to see success for generations to come.

As always it should be noted that endowments provide a myriad of subsidies to the university for everything from scholarship, faculty & administration salaries, research, and much more.