School Name: Jackson State University
Median Cost of Attendance: $22 328
Undergraduate Population: 6 844
Endowment Needed: $3 056 256 640
Analysis: Jackson State University needs approximately $3 billion for all of its undergraduates to attend debt free. The university is located in Jackson, MS which is the capital and largest city in the state. Home to almost 600 000 in the metropolitan area of which almost 80 percent are African American. Despite this population domination the rest of the demographics are not as kind. African Mississippians earn $0.51 for every dollar their European Mississippians earn according to the CPRP. The university appeared in 2009 among NACUBO’s top U.S. endowments with $12 million but has since disappeared from the rankings. If the school chose not to report is uncertain or if its endowment is being left behind is another possibility. Regardless, the 2009 endowment figure would represent only 0.4 percent of the needed endowment. However, Jackson State University announced at one point plans to break ground on a $200 million stadium. An amount over sixteen times the endowment’s value, leaving questions about priorities from leadership. On flip side the school has continued to be ranked one or two among HBCUs in research expenditures the past few years. An investment that could produce long-term wealth for the university and its alumni. It could be argued an even larger investment there could expedite that process. Noting that companies like Google and others were products of university research. Jackson State University has some of the most loyal alumni and recent donations have shown they are paying close attention to the longevity of their institution and its needs. If it can muscle up the economic firepower to compete with the HWCUs in the state then it should have no problem in the state’s capital to start to dominate the political machines. A move that could ultimately shift the dynamics of power for not only Jackson State University but all other HBCUs located in the state and ultimately for African Mississippians themselves.
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.