Representatives from about 100 colleges, including 50 historically black colleges and universities, will be in Cobb County on Saturday as part of one of the year’s biggest student recruitment efforts.
The 14th annual Black College Expo comes at a pivotal time for many HBCUs. Enrollment has dropped by 10 percent between 2010 and 2015, according to the most recent federal government data. Many public HBCUs are struggling with reductions in state aid, and nearly one in five black colleges have six-year graduation rates of 20 percent or less.
A team of Atlanta Journal-Constitution reporters and editors spent months exploring the challenges facing HBCUs in a special three-part series that begins Sunday. The following two parts are scheduled for print publication on Feb. 11 and Feb. 18.
National College Resources Foundation founder Theresa Price said the participation of HBCUs at the expo is important because of their long histories educating African-American students, particularly those from low-income families.
“I think these institutions of higher learning not only offer a cultural experience that celebrates being African-American, but they have been responsible for educating and producing generations of professionals — that is, community leaders, politicians, doctors, lawyers, teachers, accountants, scientists — which have contributed to a diverse workplace,” she said.
The expo, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. at Cobb Galleria Centre, will include information about obtaining scholarships, internships and counseling about resource options. Tickets are $7 and $8.