The Black College Expo hits ATL


Mia Kirkwood

Black high school juniors and seniors met together at the Black College Expo for an excellent opportunity to meet with HBCUs directly and hopefully find their future institution. With the help of scholarships, on-the-spot acceptance, celebrity guests, and fun activities, scholars spent their Saturday indulging in Black college culture while also prospecting their futures.

Mia Kirkwood, Opinions Editor

Founded and upheld by National College Resources Foundation (NCRF), Black students across the nation spent their Saturday evening last week speaking with Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) nationwide for the annual Black College Expo. Held at the Cobb Galleria Centre in Atlanta March 4, 2023, juniors and seniors received the opportunity to meet with their possible future colleges with the help of lively music and radio from Greg Street V-103 and radio personality Rashad Richey.

The line-up of the expo included Howard University, Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University (FAMU), South Carolina State University, Fisk University, Alabama State University, Albany State University and several other major historically Black colleges. In-person guests, counselors and presidents of these highly-renowned schools took this perfect opportunity to speak directly with prospecting students in the flesh. Additionally, extra benefits included on-the-spot acceptance to select schools at the expo if seniors fill out a free application and present their school transcript. Dozens of seniors left Atlanta with smiles on their faces and immediate endorsement from their future HBCU. 

“It’s important for students to attend college fairs because they need to be aware of the types of colleges that they attend such as Black institutions, Asian or Hispanic Latino-based institutions; we also need to know and make sure they understand the different options with majors each institution has to offer, and all of the options they have just beyond just Black institutions,” Associate Director of the Office of Admissions for the University of Florida Dacia Bowra said.


Not only did students gain the opportunity to meet with HBCU representatives, but families joined over 25 seminars where scholars met in group discussions focused on specific topics that will help Black students succeed past high school. These seminars included meetings on how to find grants, financial aid and scholarships, how to thrive as a student-athlete, booming careers in several industries, college versus high school discussions and multiple other topics. A popular seminar for families: HIP-HOP legend Yo-Yo teaches “How to get A’s in English”. The conferences extended the whole day, starting at 10:30 and ending at 2:20 PM. Ending the day off with a bang, the scholarship representations, dance-off and HBCU step show began at 3:00 PM. After the announcement of scholarship winners, a special guest hopped onto the stage: upcoming Brooklyn rapper HDBeenDope

The Black College Expo visited the cities of San Diego, Oakland, Los Angeles, Miami and Charlotte. The remaining cities include Maryland and Chicago before arriving in Atlanta. 

“Exposure is key for all students. Events like the Black College Expo are important because it allows students to see people like them, doing things that they may want to do and give them a sense of community within the college environment…Students have attended and graduated—with honors—from schools that were never on their radar. Sometimes it just takes some exposure, a guest speaker, sponsor, teacher or counselor to provide the opportunity,” counselor Leza Aldridge said.