Nurturing Leaders. Changing Lives.

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For those who’ve heard God’s call to leadership, we’re here to make the journey with you, connecting you with what you need to flourish as difference-makers. That’s our commitment as the General Board of Higher Education and Ministry. GBHEM.

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Facts about Black Colleges and the BCF

About Black Colleges

“If Black colleges did not exist, they would have to be invented,” said Dr. Johnnetta Betsch Cole, the fifteenth president of  Bennett College. Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU) bear this designation because of their founding dates shortly after the end of the Civil War and before the Civil Rights legislation of 1964. Some are private, others are state-owned, but altogether they account for only 3 percent of the United States colleges and universities and for 16 percent of enrolled African-American undergraduates. They also account for 30 percent of undergraduate degrees for African-Americans and for 40 percent of all first professional degrees earned by African-Americans.[i]

A recent article in said even though most HBCUs are resource-challenged, they are still the leading producers of African American teachers, physicians, dentists, and health professionals.[ii] Many of the students who attend are the first in their family to attend college, and research shows that by offering tangible role models and enhanced earning potential, many families are able to find a path to the middle class. A study done by Virginia Tech researchers showed black men earn more over their lifetimes when they attend a historically black four-year college or university instead of a majority white institution. Black colleges and universities tend to have a higher retention and graduation rate for black students.

The United Methodist Black College Fund

The United Methodist Church supports the largest number of Black colleges and universities of any church body in the United States.

The 11 Black colleges are located in the Southeastern and South Central Jurisdictions and are diverse in every way. There are approximately 16,000 students enrolled, and 90 percent of them qualify for financial aid. The colleges are and have always been open to all.

The Black College Fund distributes 95 percent of all funds received equally to these 11 institutions. Those with the highest enrollments receive a slightly higher amount. Five percent of the funds are awarded for special projects or activities. Administrative costs for the Fund are less than 5 percent. This is not a scholarship fund; the money goes directly to the institutions.

Once per quadrennium each institution receives $250,000 in capital funds for facility improvement or matching challenge grants. Every fifth year or at the end of the quadrennium, there is also a capital residual check of approximately $300,000.

Each General Conference the church approves a quadrennial budget, and United Methodists faithfully and generously give. In 2012, United Methodists invested 89.8 percent or $9.4 million into hopes, dreams, faculties, facilities, and some of the best and brightest students who are studying everything from environmental clean-up to cures for today’s most prevalent and difficult diseases.  They’re making us proud! 


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