School Name: North Carolina Central University
Median Cost of Attendance: $23 495
Undergraduate Population: 6 416
Endowment Needed: $3 014 865 600
Analysis: North Carolina Central University needs an endowment of approximately $3 billion for all of its undergraduates to attend debt free. Its current endowment is estimated to be 0.7 percent of the needed amount. Located in Durham, NC which is steeped in rich African American economic history the university is one of the bigger undergraduate populations amongst HBCUs. It also boast being one of only four HBCUs to have a law school. A law school which carries much prestige in the state of North Carolina often pulling in law students from the two prestigious HWCUs located nearby. Inexplicably, it finds itself the only one of the four HBCUs with a law school not located in the top ten HBCU endowments. The school should be commended for digging deeper into its endowment coffers a few years ago to help a number of cash-strapped students. This will turn out to be either a great long-term move assuming one (preferably many) go on to become high quality donors back to the university. Otherwise, it will set the endowment back almost $500 000 over the next decade and $1.4 million over the next 20 years in potential added principal. North Carolina Central University is taking a risk that not many colleges or universities – HBCU or not – seem to be willing to take and that is do whatever it takes to reduce its students debt load and increase its alumni population. A contrarian approach that could shape the university in the coming generation. It ultimately still must fix the issue of producing so many law graduates and the breakdown in its lack of high quality donors from the group. An HBCU endowment with an enormous amount of potential that has only scratched the surface.
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.