In a bid to help more people return for their college degrees, the United Negro College Fund (UNCF) has announced a partnership with the student success nonprofit InsideTrack to assist students who left college before graduation to enroll in a network of nine Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) in the country.
This initiative will provide tailored coaching to over 4,000 former HBCU and PBI students for four months as they go through re-enrollment, begin studies, and set out to get their degrees.
In addition, the re-enrollment initiative will help students identify and connect to on-campus resources such as financial aid, health and wellness, and academic support services.
Dr. Michael Lomax, the President and Chief Executive Officer of UNCF, highlighted the importance of HBCUs in a “more inclusive and equitable system of higher education in this country.”
“HBCUs are not only cornerstones of educational access and attainment, but fixtures of the Black experience in America, whose students develop meaningful and lifelong connections to the institutions they attend,” he said.
“This initiative will empower returning HBCU students with high-impact resources and support to manage personal, financial and academic challenges of student life to the triumphant achievement of earning a degree.”
Improving Graduation Rates for Underserved Communities
The insights gained through this project will be shared with participating institutions by InsideTrack coaches. From here, it will be used to increase understanding of the re-enrollment experience as well as common obstacles that students encounter throughout the process.
According to a report released by the UNCF, Black students continue to struggle with finding the resources they need to get into college and succeed.
Students who do manage to enroll do not often go on to finish their degrees. Among students that were enrolled in four-year public institutions, 45.9 percent of Black students completed their degree in six years. This was found to be the lowest rate compared to other races and ethnicities.