Tag Archives: endowment

The HBCU Endowment Feature – Delaware State University


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School Name: Delaware State University

Median Cost of Attendance: $16 460

Undergraduate Population: 3 744

Endowment Needed: $1 232 524 800

Analysis: Delaware State University needs approximately a $1.2 billion endowment for all of its undergraduates to attend debt free. The school is located in Dover, DE and is the only HBCU in the state. Although the states demographics lend to over 20 percent of the population being African American, it should be noted that the state itself has less than 1 million citizens. This means DSU must rely heavily on recruiting from outside of its state borders to build its population. Delaware is surrounded by Maryland, Pennsylvania, and New Jersey. The latter presenting a prime opportunity since it does not actually have an HBCU located within its borders. Delaware State University because of this could become more integrated with that reality and offer “in-state” tuition to those citizens in New Jersey. Especially, given the presence of cities like Newark, New Jersey which have a strong African American population and have the potential for sound social and economic ties to Delaware State University. The state of Delaware itself is the legal “home” to more than 50 percent of U.S. public companies and two-thirds of Fortune 500 companies. Being a prominent state of where companies set up their legal home suggest a revenue opportunity is available to Delaware State University and its alumni to create programs and services to existing companies and forming companies. With an endowment just over $20 million the university is sitting in an economic hub of sorts and access to the New Jersey population could easily make a run into the top ten HBCU endowments. It does face increasing dangers of trying to become too ethnically diverse and could lose its HBCU appeal. This red flag is primarily because of the unknown data as of yet as to just how committed non-African American alumni are as donors to their HBCUs. There is much to like about the direction of the endowment situation at Delaware State University but there are some concerns for a school in a state with limited in-state population unless it becomes more creative in recruitment.

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 – South Carolina State University


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School Name: South Carolina State University

Median Cost of Attendance: $21 700

Undergraduate Population: 3 744

Endowment Needed: $1 624 896 000

Analysis: South Carolina State University needs approximately $1.6 billion for all of its undergraduates to attend debt free. The university is located just over 2 hours from Charlotte, NC and almost 4 hours from Atlanta, GA. Currently, it has approximately 0.3 percent of the endowment needed. There might not be a more “famous” board of trustees in HBCU nation over the past few years – some would prefer the word infamy. The board has lacked vision and cohesion for a number of years which has recently resulted in a significant turnover of the board. This occurring while new leadership was being brought in to head the day to day operations and lay out a new vision of the university. That amount of turmoil can make even the most loyal alum or friendly donor wary of giving. The new leadership must hit the ground running and create a concise, clear, and present vision that the school and its alumni can buy into both for morale and giving. South Carolina State University has produced 6 HBCU presidents from its womb so its DNA is something to behold. As the only public HBCU in the state of South Carolina with an African American population roughly 1.5 million, the university should and could be double if not triple its current size. Given that endowments and donations is largely a numbers a game, when you have a monopoly like South Carolina State University has you must exploit it. Also being the only public HBCU in the state means it is the only one with the ability to scale a graduate program to size and could use that moving advantage to pipeline the other 5 private HBCUs into its graduate programs where it could indeed produce more high quality donors. South Carolina State University is truly a diamond in the rough but showing what happens with poor leadership from boards and administrations that can hold back if not almost dismantle a storied institution. This storied institution has all the ingredients – leadership to be determined – to have unimaginable success. We will see what fate its future holds sooner rather than later.

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 – North Carolina Central University


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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.

The HBCU Endowment Feature – Bethune-Cookman University


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School Name: Bethune-Cookman University

Median Cost of Attendance: $22 958

Undergraduate Population: 3 527

Endowment Needed: $1 594 062 880

Analysis: Bethune-Cookman University needs approximately a $1.6 billion endowment for all of its undergraduates to attend debt free annually. The flagship private HBCU in Florida and the 7th ranked HBCU endowment in 2011 and 2012. An HBCU with one of the most storied histories via its founder Mary McLeod Bethune. Its current endowment is 2.6 percent of the needed endowment. Bethune-Cookman even with its prestige is sometimes forgotten in the whole of HBCU conversations and at times Mary McLeod Bethune’s ghost seems to lord a heavier presence than the institution she founded. Despite this, the school continues to produce quality graduates and has the 3rd lowest reported student loan debt per graduate in the MEAC. A vitally important factor in graduates being able to achieve wealth more quickly upon graduation and thereby being able to become qualified donors sooner. Unfortunately, Bethune-Cookman has a limited graduate school which is highly problematic for a flagship private school and should be an area the school looks to for an expansion. This is a primary limitation of the school producing more high quality donors long-term and could become problematic. However, if Bethune-Cookman has proven anything over the course of its history, it has proven to be a stable ship amongst HBCUs never wavering too far off course of its intended mission. It also must look to triple its undergraduate population over the next decade in order to increase the size of its alumni population. An issue facing almost every HBCU with Bethune-Cookman University not being exempt. A marketing campaign centered around its geography would not hurt the school’s ability to increase enrollment. Being located in Daytona Beach is an ideal setting to sell to high school graduates, transfer students, and graduate students. The school is on the cusp of becoming a $50 million endowment but would need to come up with an outside of the box capital campaign over the next decade to encroach on the $100 million endowment club. There certainly is not a steadier HBCU in Florida than Bethune-Cookman University at the moment and if it can continue to promote that stability it will undoubtedly payoff in the long run allowing it to maintain its place in the HBCU echelon.

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 – Talladega College


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School Name: Talladega College

Median Cost of Attendance: $17 996

Undergraduate Population: 712

Endowment Needed: $256 263 040

Analysis: Talladega College needs approximately a $256 million endowment for all of its undergraduates to attend debt free annually. Located in a distant shadow of Birmingham approximately 50 miles away the school is well positioned to be far enough away from the big city without being too far away from home for many prospective students. This makes future growth prospects for the college’s population very bright. A population in dire need of growth and needs to triple within the decade to give itself a fighting chance. Unfortunately, in the interim it simply is not graduating enough students and thereby its probability of high quality donors is diminished greatly. However, the students it does have, if they are successful in establishing themselves in Birmingham upon graduation could pay off greatly over the next 30 years as Birmingham is one of America’s fastest growing cities with an extremely healthy banking and medical industry along with an amazingly low cost of living. The college must position its graduates to own the growth that will occur in the coming decades and in doing so Talladega College will reap tremendous rewards. Its present situation is far removed from its historical one. Talladega College  in 1932 boasted the 7th largest HBCU endowment. Just where it stands now has been hard to pin down but safe estimates have it under $10 million. Ultimately, Talladega’s growth potential, geography, and relation to a major growth city give it the potential to become a major factor in the coming generation. If it manages these factors effectively we could see Talladega College once again rise to prominence.

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.