BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KGET) – Choosing a college can be a difficult and big decision. This is why students got the chance to learn about more than 25 Black colleges and universities at the HBCU Caravan event at Bakersfield College.
Some attendees got information, others were accepted to schools right on the spot and some schools even gave out full-ride scholarships.
Like student Myles Elam, one of the students accepted to schools and received a scholarship.
“I’ve been wanting to go to an HBCU all my life […] I just want to experience my own culture and be around people that are more like me,” said Elam.
It was about seeing which campus was the best fit for other students, like student Lanyce Tillman.
“I have cousins that go to HBCUs, and I feel like the stories that they come and tell me, they’re like ‘girl it’s so fun’ this and that and I said, ‘I want to go’ I want to experience that, and I like it,” said Tillman.
California has only one HBCU, Charles R. Drew University of Medicine and Science and it focuses on health and science. As for enrolling in the State University System, Black students only make up 4% of the Cal State student body and enrollment is declining.
Like at CSU Bakersfield, where there were 46 full-time black students in 2021, as opposed to 104 in 2012. The historically black colleges who attended the event hope to provide an alternative, like Paine College in Augusta, Georgia.
“It’s just a different feeling to go somewhere and you feel loved, you feel welcomed, you feel like you’re going to be cared for, you feel like you’re going to have guidance along the way you’re not just sent off to school to figure it out. HBCUs, we step in as if you’re our family,” said the university’s representative, Agneilia Parker-Roberson.