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United Negro College Fund

UNCF seeks to raise $500,000 for HBCU students during Black History Month

The campaign is called ‘Build #BetterFutures’

The United Negro College Fund (UNCF) has launched its latest fundraising campaign to “Build #BetterFutures” for students attending 37 historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs) across the country.

During Black History Month, UNCF is hoping to raise $500,000 to help HBCU students who struggle to pay for their education. Two years ago, the reported average graduation rate at an HBCU was around 59 percent, with none above 70 percent. More than half of HBCUs struggled to get rates above 34 percent.

According to a study conducted by UNCF’s Frederick D. Patterson Research Institute, students attending HBCUs borrow loans at higher rates, which results in a higher debt after graduation — assuming the students attend universities long enough to reach graduation. Thirty-nine percent of students enrolled at HBCUs in the fall did not return the following year due in part to lack of financial resources, the news release states.

“In a month that celebrates African-American history and culture, we also want to remember education,” UNCF executive vice president Maurice E. Jenkins Jr. said in a statement. “Build #BetterFutures is a national effort to request support for our HBCUs and the deserving students they serve. By investing in UNCF, you are helping to build a better and brighter future for the next generation of scientists, engineers, educators, clergy and business leaders.”

To donate, visit UNCF.org/donate, and spread awareness using the hashtag #BetterFutures.

Maya Jones is an associate editor at The Undefeated. She is a native New Orleanian who enjoys long walks down Frenchmen Street and romantic dates to Saints games.