The HBCU Endowment Feature – Chicago State University


School Name: Chicago State University

Median Cost of Attendance: $16 595

Undergraduate Population: 5 280

Endowment Needed: $1 752 432 000

Analysis: Chicago State University needs approximately $1.8 million to allow all of its students to attend debt free annually. The demographics are strongly in the school’s favor for building a formidable endowment. Chicago’s African American population in the city is almost 1 million and despite being in the hard hit Midwest, Chicago being the financial center has been able to somewhat hedge impact. This serves well for a school like Chicago State University as it recruits money from the community that has one of the larger African American middle classes. It also has the distinction of the city that is home to the first African American president – for better or worse. Whether the school has been able to secure any social, economic, or political favor would be largely based on its influence sphere. Although, not recognized as an HBCU by the federal government therefore not getting federal funding, it is recognized by the HBCU community. It should take advantage of this plus and make a move towards joining an HBCU conference. The SIAC would be ideal given its recent addition of Central State in Ohio. This could form a natural geographic rivalry and give the school even more integration into the HBCU community’s psyche. The new pharmacy program that the university has should do wonders for its endowment building if can get these alumni engaged especially with the coming health boom thanks to the baby boomer generation. Unfortunately, the city is also plagued with gun violence and the impact it could have on the university while hard to measure should be watched. There could be also an opportunity for the university in creating strong outreach programs and further integrate and endear itself within the community. It does face a major competitor in the University of Chicago for influence. Despite the headwinds in the Midwest and city of Chicago there is a strong history for African Americans in Chicago and CSU has the ability to institutionalize that history and use it to build itself into a driving force. The school’s growing size and pharmacy school could see it easily become a $100 million endowment over the next 20 years if it can manage its growth and integrate itself deeper into the fabric of the community.

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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