Black students at FSU explain their college choice

Nia Alexander chose FSU in part because of its fine arts program.
Photo courtesy Nia Alexander

Campus life for people of color who attend PWIs like Florida State University comes with its fair share of pros and cons.

“Some pros that I would say that I believe FSU have over FAMU is that FSU receive lots of money from the state for our resources, campus improvements and other things along the institution. The arts program is better, and our football team is more known on a national scale than FAMU,” Nia Alexander, an FSU student majoring in fine arts, said.

“The cons I would say personally for me would be that I wish there was more of a HBCU feel to the campus, and I wish that artists that attend FAMU Homecoming would attend FSU Homecoming as well,” she added.

Many African Americans would probably choose to attend an HBCU over a PWI because they feel more comfortable being around others that look like themselves. On the other hand, some African Americans would choose to attend a PWI so that they can step out of their comfort zone and adapt to other ethnicities in the community.

Some people of color don’t let demographics play a factor in their decision to attend an HBCU or a PWI. “Honestly, I didn’t really think about demographics when I applied to schools. I thought more about the programs being offered at each university. FSU had a great bio-med program compared to other schools that I looked at,” said Ariana Key, FSU student double majoring in psychology and biology.

There are many other factors for people of color who attend a PWI like FSU before having a thought of going to a HBCU like FAMU.

“I chose to attend FSU because I got accepted into the amazing program called CARE, which helps minorities dominate the school and offer scholarships to help pay for school. Personally, I feel like a PWI will better prepare you for what is to come in the real world because you can see for yourself how it feels to be in a world where white people are said to be dominant and you can prove them wrong by exceeding levels beyond them on campus,” said Marie Michel, a business marketing major at FSU.

Many would think the culture of African Americans at an HBCU is superior compared to what it may be like at a PWI, but that’s not always the case. The African American culture at a PWI could be viewed as being good throughout the community from others’ point of view.

“Well the African American community tries its best to keep minorities feeling involved and included in all aspects of campus. Honestly, it’s a small home and place of trust on campus and because we are such a small community, I would like to think that we look after each other the best and help each other cope with culture shock and the environment we’re in, especially if it’s an environment someone may be in for the first time,” said Michel.