The HBCU Endowment Feature – Norfolk State University


School Name: Norfolk State University

Median Cost of Attendance: $21 740

Undergraduate Population: 6 264

Endowment Needed: $2 723 587 200

Analysis: Norfolk State University needs approximately $2.7 billion for all of its undergraduates to attend debt-free annually. One of two public HBCUs in the state of Virginia and located near the state’s coastal area. Norfolk State University shares the region with a major private HBCU within close proximity. This creates both opportunities for shared fundraising efforts and competition as well. Catering to a different demographic of African America being a public university certainly does help them cast a larger net in terms of quantity. The school is one of the larger HBCUs by population which means more alumni per year and a larger pool to pull from in terms of soliciting donations. Norfolk State University is actually still fairly young by university standards which explains part of the reason it does not have a top ten endowment. Its institutional youth means it is playing catch up to its older HBCU peers. The NCAA basketball tournament last year increased the school’s public profile tremendously and should do wonders for academic recruitment and quality of student. It also located near one of the most important naval bases on the eastern seaboard which bases a large navy personnel. Creating a partnership with the armed forces base there could serves as a way to increase both alumni size and long-term support. Although 50 years younger than most of its institutional peers Norfolk State University is in a prime position over the next decade if it can get solid commitment from alumni and see it make a push to move into the top ten of HBCU endowments.

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.


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