WASHINGTON -- The Education Department is awarding $228 million in grants to historically black colleges and universities.
The five-year grants will go to schools in 19 states plus the District of Columbia and the U.S. Virgin Islands. Schools can use the money to expand their campuses, acquire science equipment, develop counseling programs and train faculty.
Education Secretary Arne Duncan says the grants will enable historically black colleges to help students who grapple with financial challenges as they pursue post-secondary education.
Most of the schools receiving grants are in the South.
The largest grants will go to Florida A&M University in Tallahassee; Southern University and A&M College in Baton Rouge, La.; Jackson State University in Jackson, Miss.; and St. Philip's College in San Antonio. Those schools will receive more than $5 million each.
Earlier on HuffPost:
Danyelle Gary, Hampton University
My elementary school, middle school and high school were predominantly black, and members of my family encouraged me to branch out and experience racial diversity at a predominantly white university. Honestly, when it came to choosing a college, the racial makeup was my last concern. I wanted to go to a school that would heighten my passion for journalism and help me to cultivate the skills needed to succeed in the field. <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/danyelle-gary/hampton-made-me-this-way_b_916418.html" target="_hplink">Read more...</a>
Nicolas Aziz, Morehouse College
Because of Morehouse College, I can say that I plan on attending law school following my graduation next spring. Because of Morehouse College, I can say that at 20 years old I have traveled to 10 different countries around the world. Because of Morehouse College, I can say that I have the daily privilege of being around hundreds of other black males who are all striving to become the next great leaders of this world. <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/nicolas-b-aziz/why-i-chose-morehouse_b_913292.html" target="_hplink">Read more...</a>
Ja'el Gordon, Southern University and A&M College
I made a choice to attend an HBCU because I understand their relevancy. I am a history major, so it is my job to research the past, collect stories, and offer information from past situations and experiences. Reasons African-Americans attended HBCUs in the past are far from the reasons we attend today. Today we can easily enroll at predominantly white institutions if we are academically qualified. Education opportunities for blacks have so vastly increased, that if we all applied to PWIs then there would be no importance to maintain HBCUs. <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/jael-gordon/attending-an-hbcu-reasons_b_913301.html" target="_hplink">Read more...</a>
Terrance Hamm, Hampton University
I didn't want to attend just "any college," I wanted to go to an HBCU. Some may ask why I turned down scholarships to University of Maryland, Princeton and elsewhere. I did so because I wanted an experience that was unique and conducive to my growth in this world. I wanted to grow under the guidance of aware and culturally sensitive instructors. I wanted to learn in an environment of people with experiences similar to mine. <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/terrance-hamm/lets-appreciate-the-contr_b_917042.html" target="_hplink">Read more...</a>
James D. Jackson, Winston Salem State University
Just about five years ago, I would not have imagined that I'd be in school at an HBCU. Like so many other young black males, dreams of hitting the game-winning shot in Game 7 of the NBA Finals in front of a sold out crowd, occupied my daydreams from an early age, but soon after coming to terms with the reality of that profession, and watching my life frittered away at long shot, my athletic aspirations slowly dissolved. Around the same time this was happening, the (near-deafening) sounds of Mad Money invaded the one-room apartment I was currently residing in. <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/james-d-jackson/educational-college-experiences_b_911886.html" target="_hplink">Read more...</a>
Taylor McCleod, Morehouse College
Throughout my life, Historically Black Colleges and Universities have always had a presence and an impact on me. My parents and many of my family members have graduated from a number of different HBCUs. Since a young age, my image of college has always resembled an HBCU campus. My parents made it a point to bring me with them to homecomings and reunions to discuss the importance of having an HBCU education. <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/taylor-mccleod/aim-high-lift-others-high_b_916524.html" target="_hplink">Read more...</a>
Jordan Harris, Spelman College
For the next four years of my young adult life, I would be surrounded by a strong support system of dynamic young women who were going great places and accomplishing wonderful things. I would better understand and appreciate my greatness as a black woman, with the advisement of dedicated professors and genuine mentors. My first night on campus was the first stage of my journey of becoming a Spelman woman. I couldn't get this experience at Emory. <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/jordan-harris/welcome-to-spelman-and-to_b_917009.html" target="_hplink">Read more...</a>
Claunick Duronville, Morehouse College
My experience at Morehouse has been one I could never replace or duplicate. Because of Morehouse I have met some of the most dynamic young people of all races, determined to make a positive difference. I have been able to broaden the scope of my academic pursuits and to critically analyze the issues that we as a society face today and endeavor to commit to the ideals of being an upstanding global citizen. <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/claunick-duronville/why-i-chose-morehouse-col_b_916089.html" target="_hplink">Read more...</a>
Kalia N. Baker, Spelman College
I knew I would attend an HBCU because there was a cultural puzzle piece missing in my life, an untold story about my history that was not in the repetitive lessons my white teachers thought were expanding horizons or bringing awareness. The predominantly white institutions I had attended my entire life were only part of my choice to attend Spelman College. Each time I heard "Spelman," it sparkled. The enchantment that grabbed me was about a place where my voice as a black woman would not only be relevant, but also grow. <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/kalia-n-baker/hbcu-glory-days_b_916499.html" target="_hplink">Read more...</a>
Jason Spears, Tuskegee University
My love affair with Tuskegee University began as an eight-year-old when I visited the campus for the first time. It was homecoming and I had come to visit my cousin who was halfway through her first semester at Tuskegee. The sound of the band the liveliness of the crowds enticed me as soon as I walked on the yard, never realizing that I would one day be apart of this storied tradition. <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/jason-spears/a-tuskegee-love-affair_b_913258.html" target="_hplink">Read more...</a>