Why I Chose a PWI

Oct 28, 2010


Disclaimer: Just as the title indicates, this is merely an explanation as to why I chose to attend a PWI (Predominantly White Institution). Please don't misconstrue this list for reasons why PWI's are better than HBCU's (Historically Black College or University). Higher education is higher education at the end of the day and should be valued regardless. So with that said...

Academic Reputation
According to the US News & World Report, the top 5 Public Universities for 2011 are:
1. UC Berkeley
3. University of Virginia
4. University of Michigan
5. University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (My school)

All of these are PWI's and this list remains pretty consistent year in and year out. PWIs are amongst the top ranked in academic reputation, first-year retention, graduation rates, etc. Isn't that the reason we go to school, period? To receive the best education possible from a prestigious university? At this point, I don't feel the need to continue with this blog post at all, but for the sake of arguing....

It's a microcosm of reality.
I've been surrounded by white people in the classroom all my life. Why hasn't it been a problem? Because when I leave the classroom, I'm simply surrounded by more white people. Anything else is unrealistic in my opinion. I have no issues remaining true to who I am while simultaneously being exposed to the inevitable truth that is The Real World, no MTV.

Timely financial aid disbursal and satisfactory class registration aren't privileges, they are expectations. Let's not tip-toe around the obvious.

The Talented 10th.
Some people question the authenticity of friendships among minorities at PWI's, stating that we seek out people who are the same color as us as opposed to people who share similar interests. That's a heavy assumption. Commonality #1 amongst my friends and I --> academic achievement and the desire to attain more. If you don't think that a mutual academic grind unites people, then you aren't grinding.

Sporting Events.
Carolina basketball, UMichigan football, UCLA basketball, Texas football. Keep it G, the atmosphere at these major sporting events can't even be described. Admittedly, not all of our halftimes are entertaining, but our games are televised and dumb live. Don't act like you don't know about the BCS and March Madness.

Unparalleled AFAM experiences.
A common misconception about PWI's is that we black students don't learn about our history and the diversity of our people. This isn't high school anymore! There are top notch African American Studies Departments anchored by black (and white professors alike) who aren't only brilliant but refrain from sugarcoating anything! At least that was my experience. I desired to become culturally enriched and the opportunities were endless.

#Fail! But aye, I get to escape to my neighboring HBCU's and parlay with my partna'nem during their respective Homecoming events, so I've never wanted for anything.

As previously mentioned, as long as you go to college it doesn't really matter where you go. There are going to be pros and cons, regardless. We all have our preferences, as well. But when it comes to schooling, I'm putting all my chips on PWIs.


Gia said...

oh boyyyy lol

e. said...

I feel the same as you. Though it really doesn't matter, trying to get scholarships as an African - American can be hard at times simply because one of the requirements (SOMETIMES) is that you have to plan or be attending a "black college" but oh well, I go where I want and it's not an HBCU. *SHRUGS*

josieRbaby said...

shout outs to michigan!!!!!!!!!!!
clearly I have nothing else to add but to say I agree.


Caprece said...

Well said, your choice of school should be based on whether they are the best fit for you and can help you achieve your goals. I chose a school that was the best fit for me and offered the most help with scholarships. I love the brother/sister hood of black institutions but that should not be anyones sole decision maker.

Great Post Dub!

Don't watch me, w-w-watch my feet....