U.S. HBCU's see increase in non-black students, Austin's HT among them

A new study shows a quarter of historically black colleges and universities in the u-s have a growing non-black student population.   

Laycia Robinson is a senior at Huston-Tillotson University. She says most of her life, she has gone to predominately white schools, or PWI’s as she calls them.

“Growing up a military brat I have gone to PWI’s my whole life. Being a transfer here to Huston-Tillotson University has been a great experience,” Robinson said.

Huston Tillotson is a historically black university, however, Robinson is noticing the demographic changes right before her eyes.
Her best friend Ashley is Latina, she also attends HT.

“She said I can tell you about my history and Selena and the whole thing but she says she can't say anything about her best friend who is black,” Robinson said.

Robinson says being at an HBCU opened her friend's eyes. It could be among many reasons why black colleges and universities are becoming much more diverse.

“Our mission has been to educate African-Americans and that's still the core of our mission, however our doors are open to everyone,” Linda Jackson, director of HT university relations, said.

According to a study by the University of Pennsylvania, a quarter of black campuses have a 20 percent non-black student body. Texas leads the charge in diversity. Huston-Tillotson has seen a 19 percent growth in Latino students

“Regardless of ethnicity we are interested,” Jackson said.

Officials believe it could be that HBCU’s have a culture of inclusiveness that reaches beyond black students.

“You have people who look like you, you have faculty who looks like you, you have a culture here that's very accepting of everyone,” Jackson said.

Huston-Tillotson has a campus of just over a thousand students.Faculty and staff say they will continue their current recruitment efforts to welcome in any and all who are accepted to the campus.

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