Zakiya Williams had found a perfect fit at Spelman College. But when the tough economy hit the sophomore and her family hard, she packed her bags, ready to drop out.
“I was not able to get loans, nor were my parents,” she said. “It became really difficult because I felt all my avenues were exhausted.”
It’s a familiar story at colleges across the country, especially at historically black colleges and universities where, in some cases, up to 95 percent of students rely on financial aid to fund their education.
President Obama has increased Pell Grant funding to a maximum of $5,500 per student with stimulus and budget funds.
But still, many black colleges expect enrollment rates to keep shrinking as families and students struggle in the economic downturn.