With the upcoming United Negro College Fund fundraising event: An Evening of the Stars, many black families will tune in and donate money to help the cause of black students who want to attend college. For a black student, the ability to attend college is not always possible. It can be very difficult to find the financial support needed and the scholarship field can prove to be too competitive. Sometimes a scholarship can only be received by students of a certain race, students who have attended certain schools, students who have a certain GPA or amount of extracurricular activities, etc. The list is endless. Needless to say, finding these scholarships can prove to be challenging, especially if the giver only allows the option of certain colleges. This can be said about the United Negro College Fund (UNCF).
When paying for college becomes difficult, students scramble to find any way to pay. Many black students look toward the United Negro College Fund for help, believing that if they have the right GPA and ethnicity, they can receive help. Many are sadly mistaken, however, when they see that UNCF only gives money to certain colleges, most of them being historically black colleges or universities (HBCU). Many students believe that this is a flawed logic.
Many people argue that this does not show true equality. If a black student chooses to attend a predominately white institution (PWI), they should have the power to do so and be proud because fifty years ago, they would have been arrested if they entered the front gate. Civil rights leaders fought for black students to attend any college, so why does UNCF make it a point to only fund the schools that were founded by blacks and hinder the students’ choice? It shows another form of separatism. If a black woman is accepted to Harvard, Yale, Columbia, Brown, or any other Ivy League institution (something that was unheard of until the 1970’s), they will not be able to receive funding from UNCF. Maybe the reasoning behind it is to keep black education within the grasp of black people instead of being taught by white America. However, this choice should be made by the students themselves.
The reasoning behind UNCF makes sense: give black students the right to attend college. However, black students should have the right to attend ANY college and not feel ostracized by their choice. People will watch the event and even donate because like their old adage says, “a mind is a terrible thing to waste”, but students should ask UNCF if their mind is wasted if they attend a PWI of their choice.