School Name: Clark Atlanta University
Median Cost of Attendance: $34 218
Undergraduate Population: 3 127
Endowment Needed: $2 139 993 760
Analysis: Clark Atlanta University needs approximately $2.1 billion for all of its undergraduates to attend debt free annually. The school where W.E.B. DuBois taught after achieving his doctorate from a college in the Northeast remains the least known of the AUC trio despite a storied history of its own. Clark Atlanta has a geographic advantage that it certainly can exploit by being the only HBCU with a graduate school in a major metropolitan in the deep southeast which should allow it to be a major draw for HBCU undergraduates within the states of Georgia, Florida, South Carolina, and even arguably Alabama. If Clark Atlanta focuses on developing its graduate school, it could become a research juggernaut among HBCUs in the southeast and the spillover effects into its endowment could easily catapult Clark Atlanta University into the billion dollar endowment conversation amongst HBCUs. The university must also do something to stem its declining undergraduate population. Something that will be very hard in terms of attracting top tier students being the proverbial third wheel in the AUC. Distinguishing itself on the graduate level could stabilize the school and help it produce high quality graduates that in turn would produce sizable gains for the Clark Atlanta endowment. If it does not find its niche we could see a continue steady decline at the teaching “home” of DuBois. However, if it can make the pivot and establish a vision on the graduate level then the Clark Atlanta endowment will find new air.
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.