Louisville, Kentucky, statehouse reporter Piper Hudspeth Blackburn and San Francisco-based data journalist Camille Fassett, both Report for America journalists, teamed up with Atlanta statehouse correspondent and education team member Jeff Amy and New York data journalist Larry Fenn to reveal wide disparities among the nation’s historically Black colleges and universities, with many smaller private schools fighting for survival.
The reporting by Hudspeth Blackburn and Amy was built on an analysis of enrollment and endowment data by Fenn and Fassett. They found that many smaller, lesser-known HBCUs are struggling with weak endowments, aging buildings and steady enrollment declines. And while HBCUs in the U.S. have received millions of dollars in federal coronavirus aid and fresh attention after last summer’s racial justice protests, not all benefit equally.
The team’s comprehensive story was complemented by embeddable graphics illustrating the disparities, and advance detailed data on all 102 HBCUs for localization by AP customers.