Tag Archives: endowment

The HBCU Endowment Feature – Jackson State University


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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.

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The HBCU Endowment Feature – Elizabeth City State University


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School Name: Elizabeth City State University

Median Cost of Attendance: $18 786

Undergraduate Population: 2 760

Endowment Needed: $1 036 972 320

Analysis: Elizabeth City State University needs approximately a $1 billion endowment for all of its undergraduates to attend debt free. The university is located in the northeast part of North Carolina. In a state with an abundance of higher education institutions it can be extremely difficult to standout. It also does not help that ECSU is not on the HBCU “corridor” of I-85/I-95 going through the states of North Carolina and Virginia. The northeast part of North Carolina is a more isolated geography of the state. As in most cases like this there is a bit of the gift and the curse attached to such a reality. By being isolated it can have an intimate advantage in recruitment in the northeast part of North Carolina and very rural parts of southeastern Virginia. The disadvantage of course is beyond those areas it will have a difficult time not being in the HBCU corridor, and therefore will have a hard time getting students outside of its most intimate regions. A cause for concern given the drop in enrollment the school has seen lately. As noted with public university endowments, the size of the alumni base is a mixture of student body size and graduation rates. This formula plays an integral role in the health of the endowment. A declining student body size is a danger to the long term financial stability of a college’s endowment primarily because historically only 10-15 percent of alumni give back nationally. The number is even smaller among HBCUs. Currently, Elizabeth City State University is reported to have a $4.5 million endowment or equal to 0.45 percent of its needed endowment. A serious red flag for long-term stability which lends to some of the issues of the school’s current financial issues. The school has an opportunity to reduce itself down to a healthier size that could allow it could to obtain the financial health it needs to potentially grow at a more steadied pace. It also much find a way to infuse itself along the state’s coastline African American population. The real question is will that be enough. Ideally, ECSU needs to have a student body at least triple its current size if it wants to seriously expand its alumni base within the coming decade.  It is clear they are going to have to pick up the pace of their endowment and capital campaigning to survive tomorrow, otherwise we could be seeing some of the turmoil in Virginia spillover into North Carolina with Elizabeth City State University potentially being the first casualty.

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.

The HBCU Endowment Feature – Edward Waters College


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School Name: Edward Waters College

Median Cost of Attendance: $18 481

Undergraduate Population: 769

Endowment Needed: $284 237 780

Analysis: Edward Waters College needs approximately $284 million for all of its students to attend debt free annually. The college is located in Jacksonville, Florida which has an estimated population of 820 000 with 30 percent of that population being African American which is well above the state’s overall African American population percentage of 16 percent. Jacksonville being located in the northeast part of the state would allow for recruitment opportunities into southeastern Georgia. All factors that are extremely needed for a school where student population has declined by almost 40 percent. This gives Edward Waters College an opportunity to expand its geographic presence. It has legacy on its side as the oldest HBCU in Florida which can be a remarkable marketing point if properly used. They also have prime academic balance between STEM and humanities which can be presented as an opportunity to develop wholistic students and a great selling point. The enrollment desperately needs to reach a population of 3 000  students in order to start to produce enough alumni for a donor pool that can impact the college’s long-term endowment. There should be some consideration to develop a niche graduate program to begin to create a pipeline of high quality donors. Edward Waters College is an HBCU with a lot of potential and promise but demographic headwinds could ultimately make its journey forward very difficult. If it can conquer the challenge of its demographics, then the school is in a prime position to see an explosion in its endowment and secure footing for its future.

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.

The HBCU Endowment Feature – Coppin State University


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School Name: Coppin State University

Median Cost of Attendance: $25 593

Undergraduate Population: 3 295

Endowment Needed: $1 686 545 760

Analysis: Coppin State University needs an approximately $1.7 billion endowment for all of its undergraduates to attend debt free. The university is located in Baltimore, Maryland. Coppin State University has become an orphan among stepchildren. The state of Maryland of has historically been brutal to HBCUs and it does not help that Coppin State University shares the state’s largest city with 2 other HBCUs and John Hopkins, the nation’s leading research institution. It is considered by many to be a diamond in the rough. Unfortunately, it is hard to see anyone uncovering that rough so long as the school remains in Baltimore. Location seems to be harming and not helping Coppin State University. It has no room to establish an identity or expand more importantly. The school should consider a relocation to Waldorf, Maryland which is located over a hour away from Baltimore. Waldorf is the 5th largest city in the state and has a 54 percent African American population. Only Baltimore has a higher African American percentage of African Americans. This space could give Coppin State University the opportunity to recruit students in Baltimore who might want to go “away” from home without being too far. Coppin State University has been known for producing quality nurses and teachers. The problem lies in that neither of these occupations produce the high quality donors that universities need to build their endowments. Of course if it honed its nursing program on the specialties that were the top earners that would greatly help. Coppin State University badly needs to find a professional niche it can grow. No small task and one that requires understanding the lay of the land, vision, and leadership. All of which Coppin State University has been lacking for many years now. Despite many problems there is no denying that Coppin State University possesses something special it just needs the space to show what it can do.

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.

The HBCU Endowment Feature – Texas College


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School Name: Texas College

Median Cost of Attendance: $17 208

Undergraduate Population: 878

Endowment Needed: $302 172 480

Analysis: Texas College needs approximately $300 million for all of its students to attend debt free. Located 100 miles from Dallas, TX and 90 miles from Shreveport, LA puts Texas College in a sweet spot geographically. This could allow the school to grow triple in size in a very short period if its infrastructure could keep up with such exponential growth. Part of this growth could easily come from establishing a relationship for transfers from Southern University-Shreveport which is a two-year HBCU. Texas College is actually closer to SU-S than the flagship Southern University-Baton Rouge and could easily sway students who want to be away from home but not more than a few hours. With less than 1000 students the school needs to hit a growth spurt and fast in order to graduate enough alumni on an annual basis and increase the donor pool available to it. Of course at its current size there is the opportunity to build very intimate relationships with these graduates and establish donor relationship much earlier and on a personal basis. Texas College in 2012 led all HBCUs reported in NACUBO in terms of return on investment at 12.8 percent in a year when 70 percent of the top ten HBCU endowments had negative returns. This type of continued performance could bode well for them if they can get the raw dollars to boost the size of the money it is managing. The school has the talent to manage the money but its demographics need to grow for it become a relevant endowment in this era of expand or die.

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.