20 Pros and Cons of Howard University

Pros And Cons Of Howard University

If you are considering attending Howard University, there are many factors to weigh before making your decision. With a rich history and legacy as a historically black institution, Howard offers a unique cultural experience that is unmatched by other universities. However, like any college or university, there are potential drawbacks that you should consider before enrolling.

One of the biggest pros of attending Howard University is its rich history and legacy. Established in 1867, Howard has been at the forefront of educating African American leaders for over 150 years. The university has produced notable alumni such as Thurgood Marshall, Toni Morrison, and Kamala Harris.

By attending Howard, you become a part of this rich legacy and have access to resources and networks that can help propel your future career goals forward.

Pros of Howard University

  1. Historically Black University Heritage: Founded in 1867, Howard University holds a significant place in the history of education for African Americans. Being a historically black university, it offers a unique cultural and educational experience that fosters a deep understanding of black history, traditions, and culture. It has played a pivotal role in the civil rights movement and continues to be a beacon of excellence and pride for the black community.
  2. Prime Location: Situated in the heart of Washington, D.C., in the Shaw neighborhood, Howard University offers students easy access to the nation’s capital and its numerous resources, including government institutions, cultural landmarks, and a plethora of internship opportunities.
  3. Diverse Student Body: Howard University provides educational opportunities to students from around the world. This diverse student body ensures a rich mix of cultures, experiences, and perspectives, enriching the learning environment and fostering global awareness.
  4. Research Opportunities: Classified as an “R2: Doctoral Universities – High research activity”, Howard University provides students with opportunities to engage in high-level research, enabling them to gain practical experience and contribute to advancements in their respective fields.
  5. Accreditation: Howard University’s accreditation by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education showcases its commitment to maintaining high academic standards and ensuring quality education for its students.
  6. Large Campus: Spanning 257 acres, Howard University boasts a sizable urban campus that provides students with ample resources, facilities, and spaces for a comprehensive learning and living experience.
  7. Undergraduate Focus: With an undergraduate enrollment of 8,964 as of fall 2021, Howard has a substantial focus on undergraduate programs, ensuring students at this level receive ample attention and resources.
  8. Federal Charter: Being federally chartered, Howard University has a unique stature and receives support and recognition at a national level, reinforcing its place in American higher education.
  9. Legacy of Alumni: Over the years, Howard University has produced a number of notable alumni who have excelled in various fields, adding to the prestige and reputation of the institution.
  10. Commitment to Global Learning: By drawing students from throughout the world, Howard emphasizes a global perspective in its curriculum and campus initiatives, preparing students for an increasingly interconnected world.

Cons of Howard University

  1. Urban Setting: The urban setting, while offering numerous opportunities, can also pose challenges such as potential safety concerns, higher living costs, and the distractions that come with city life, which might not be suitable for all students.
  2. Competitive Admission: Given its reputation and unique positioning, Howard University can be quite competitive in its admissions, which might be daunting for prospective students.
  3. Potential for Overcrowding: A sizable undergraduate population on a finite urban campus can lead to issues of overcrowding, whether it’s in classrooms, dormitories, or other facilities.
  4. Limited Focus on Other Ethnicities: While the emphasis on black history and culture is paramount, some might feel that there’s limited focus or representation of other ethnicities and cultures.
  5. Cost of Private Education: Being a private institution, Howard University might have higher tuition and fees compared to public universities, making it potentially less accessible for some students.
  6. Research Intensity: The “R2” classification, while beneficial for research enthusiasts, might not be ideal for students looking for a less research-intensive environment.
  7. Expectations and Pressure: Given its rich history and prominent alumni, there could be higher expectations and pressure on students to excel both academically and extracurricularly.
  8. Limited Rural Exposure: Students looking for a rural or suburban college experience may find Howard’s urban setting limiting in terms of natural settings and quieter atmospheres.
  9. Potential Bureaucratic Hurdles: With its federal charter, there could be bureaucratic hurdles and red tape associated with certain processes or initiatives at the university.
  10. High Demand for Resources: With a rich history, prime location, and diverse student body, there’s a high demand for resources which, if not managed properly, might lead to resource constraints in certain areas.
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Rich History and Legacy

You’ll love learning about the rich history and legacy of Howard University. Founded in 1867, this historically Black university has played a vital role in shaping the African American community and beyond. With its strong influence on civil rights, Howard has produced notable alumni such as Thurgood Marshall, Toni Morrison, and Kamala Harris.

The university’s commitment to social justice is evident through its founding principles and mission statement. In 1920, Howard established the first law school for African Americans, training future lawyers who would go on to fight for equal rights under the law. The university was also a major hub for activism during the Civil Rights Movement of the 1960s, with students and faculty participating in sit-ins and protests across the country.

Beyond its impact on civil rights advocacy, Howard has produced countless influential figures in various fields. From Nobel Prize winners to Pulitzer Prize-winning authors, from award-winning actors to renowned musicians – you’ll find them all among Howard’s alumni network. These individuals have not only excelled in their respective careers but have also made significant contributions to society as a whole.

In short, learning about the rich history and legacy of Howard University will leave you feeling inspired and motivated to make your mark on the world. Its commitment to social justice and dedication to producing exceptional leaders are just some of the reasons why it continues to be one of America’s most important institutions today.

Unique Cultural Experience

Experiencing Howard’s unique culture is an unparalleled opportunity that you can’t find elsewhere. The university has a rich history of producing African American leaders and promoting social justice, which is reflected in the student body’s diverse perspectives and ideas.

As a result, cultural immersion at Howard takes on a whole new meaning, allowing you to engage with people from different backgrounds who share your passion for making a difference in the world. Moreover, Howard offers numerous social opportunities that allow you to connect with like-minded individuals both inside and outside the classroom.

Whether it’s joining one of the many student organizations or attending events hosted by the university’s various departments, there are endless ways to get involved on campus. This not only helps you build meaningful relationships but also exposes you to new ideas and experiences that broaden your worldview.

However, being part of such a vibrant community can also be challenging at times. With so much going on at once, it can be easy to get overwhelmed or burnt out if you don’t prioritize self-care. Additionally, navigating complex social dynamics and confronting systemic issues can take an emotional toll on even the most resilient individuals.

Nevertheless, as long as you stay true to yourself and seek support when needed, experiencing Howard’s unique culture will undoubtedly be one of the most rewarding experiences of your life.

Potential Drawbacks

As a prospective student, it’s important to consider the potential drawbacks of attending Howard University.

One area to examine is financial aid and tuition costs, as these can greatly impact your ability to afford and continue your education.

Additionally, campus safety concerns should be taken into account when deciding where to attend college.

Lastly, while Howard has a rich history and culture, it’s important to note that the student body may have limited diversity in terms of racial and socioeconomic backgrounds.

Financial Aid and Tuition Costs

If you’re looking for affordable tuition and ample financial aid opportunities, this section on Howard University is worth reading.

While Howard University has a reputation for being one of the most prestigious historically black universities in the country, it’s also known for its high tuition costs. However, don’t let that deter you from applying as there are several scholarship opportunities and student loan options available.

For example, the university offers merit-based scholarships to incoming freshmen based on their academic achievements. Additionally, they have need-based financial aid programs that can help cover tuition costs for students who qualify. On top of that, Howard University participates in federal student loan programs such as Direct Loans and PLUS Loans which can also provide additional funding if needed.

Keep in mind though that while scholarships and loans can help alleviate some of the burden of tuition costs, they still require repayment or come with certain qualifications or requirements. So make sure to do your research and carefully consider your options before making any decisions regarding financial aid at Howard University.

Campus Safety Concerns

You’ll want to pay close attention to the campus safety concerns at Howard University as they could affect your overall experience, so be sure to read through this section thoroughly.

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While Howard has a reputation for being a historically black university with strong academics and a vibrant student life, it’s important to note that crime rates on and near campus have been an ongoing issue. In recent years, there have been instances of armed robberies, carjackings, and sexual assaults reported in the surrounding areas.

To combat these issues, Howard University has implemented various campus security measures such as increased police presence, surveillance cameras throughout campus, and emergency call boxes in strategic locations. Additionally, the university offers self-defense classes for students who wish to learn how to protect themselves against potential threats.

While these efforts are commendable, it’s still important for students to remain vigilant and take precautions when walking alone or traveling off-campus at night.

Limited Diversity within Student Body

The limited diversity within the student body at Howard may impact the overall cultural experience for students. While the university has made efforts to increase diversity through various campus initiatives, including recruitment programs and multicultural events, there is still a lack of representation among certain groups. This can lead to feelings of isolation and hinder opportunities for cross-cultural exchange.

It’s important to consider student perspectives on this issue as well. Some may argue that despite the lack of diversity in certain areas, there’s still a strong sense of community and support among students from all backgrounds. However, it’s crucial for Howard University to continue their efforts towards increasing diversity and creating an inclusive environment for all students.

By doing so, they can enhance the educational experience and prepare students to thrive in an increasingly diverse global society.

Student Life and Extracurricular Activities

You’re in for a treat when it comes to the vibrant student life and diverse extracurricular activities available at Howard University. From clubs and organizations to cultural events, there’s always something happening on campus that will pique your interest. Here are just a few reasons why the student life at Howard is one-of-a-kind:

  1. Social opportunities: With over 200 student organizations to choose from, you’ll have no trouble finding like-minded individuals who share your interests. Whether you want to join a Greek organization, participate in community service projects, or attend cultural events, there’s something for everyone.
  2. Academic support: Your education is important, and Howard University recognizes that. That’s why they offer a variety of academic resources to help you succeed in your studies. From tutoring services to study groups and workshops, you’ll have access to everything you need to excel academically.
  3. Diversity: At Howard University, diversity isn’t just a buzzword – it’s an integral part of campus life. You’ll meet people from all walks of life who bring unique perspectives and experiences to the table. This diversity fosters an inclusive environment where everyone feels welcome and valued.
  4. Career development: The Office of Career Services at Howard University provides students with the tools they need to succeed beyond graduation. From job fairs and networking events to resume reviews and interview coaching, they’re committed to helping students achieve their career goals.

Overall, the student life at Howard University is dynamic and engaging – perfect for those who crave social interaction as well as academic growth. With so many opportunities available on this bustling campus, you’re sure to find your niche among this vibrant community of scholars!


As we wrap up our exploration of student life and extracurricular activities at Howard, it’s clear that this vibrant campus offers countless opportunities for personal and academic growth. However, before deciding whether or not to attend this university, it’s important to consider both the pros and cons of Howard University.

One major advantage of attending Howard is its strong alumni network. Graduates from this prestigious institution have gone on to become leaders in various fields such as law, medicine, politics, and entertainment. This network can be leveraged by current students through mentorship programs and job placements after graduation.

On the other hand, one disadvantage of attending Howard is the potential financial burden. Like many private institutions, tuition costs are high which may deter some students from applying or cause them to accumulate significant debt post-graduation. It’s important for prospective students to carefully consider their financial situation before committing to this university.

In conclusion, while there are both pros and cons to attending Howard University, ultimately it’s up to each individual student to weigh these factors against their own goals and priorities. With a strong alumni network and diverse range of extracurricular activities available on campus, Howard has much to offer those seeking a challenging yet rewarding college experience.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the average class size at Howard University?

Did you know that the average class size at Howard University is only 20 students?

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That’s a pretty impressive statistic, especially when you consider how important classroom experience is to your success as a student.

With smaller classes, you’ll have more opportunities to engage with your professors and classmates, ask questions, and get the personalized attention you need to thrive academically.

Plus, Howard has an excellent faculty student ratio of 7:1, which means that you’ll have plenty of access to top-notch professors who are passionate about helping their students succeed.

Overall, if you’re looking for a university that prioritizes individual attention and hands-on learning experiences in the classroom, Howard University could be an excellent choice for you.

How diverse is the student body at Howard University?

At Howard University, you’ll find a vibrant and diverse student body. The school has a long-standing commitment to diversity and inclusivity, which is reflected in its student demographics.

With students from all 50 states and over 70 countries, Howard offers a truly global perspective. In addition to the diverse student body, the campus also hosts a variety of cultural events throughout the year.

From dance performances to poetry readings, there’s always something happening at Howard that celebrates different cultures and perspectives. If you’re looking for a university where diversity is celebrated and embraced, Howard University is definitely worth considering.

What is the acceptance rate for Howard University?

Are you curious about Howard University’s acceptance rate? Well, get ready to be impressed because it’s only 32%!

That means out of all the applications received, only a third are accepted. But don’t let that discourage you because Howard is known for its generous financial aid packages and vibrant campus culture.

The university is committed to providing access and opportunity to students from all backgrounds, making it an excellent choice for those seeking a supportive community that values diversity and academic excellence.

So if you’re willing to put in the work, Howard University could be just the place for you!

What is the cost of attendance for Howard University?

Looking to attend Howard University? The cost of attendance can be a major concern, but there are financial aid options available to help make it more manageable.

Howard University offers various types of financial aid, including scholarships, grants, loans, and work-study programs. They also offer tuition payment plans that allow you to spread out your payments over time instead of paying the full amount at once.

It’s important to explore all the options and determine what works best for you financially before making a decision about attending Howard University.

What type of career resources does Howard University offer for students?

At Howard University, you’ll have access to a variety of career resources that can help you launch your professional life.

One of the most valuable resources is the university’s robust network of internship opportunities, which can provide hands-on experience in your chosen field and help you build connections with potential employers.

Additionally, Howard hosts frequent job fairs where students can meet with recruiters and learn about job openings at top companies. These events are a great way to get your foot in the door and make meaningful connections with people who can help advance your career.

Whether you’re just starting out or looking to take the next step in your professional journey, Howard has plenty of resources to help you achieve your goals.


So, should you consider attending Howard University? It all depends on what you’re looking for in a college experience.

If you value a rich history and legacy, along with a unique cultural experience, then Howard is definitely worth considering. With over 150 years of educating black leaders and innovators, there’s no denying the impact that Howard has had on American society.

However, it’s important to also consider potential drawbacks such as high tuition costs and limited campus resources. Despite these challenges, Howard University remains a top choice for many students seeking an unparalleled educational experience.

In fact, did you know that Howard ranks among the top 20 colleges in the United States for producing African-American PhD recipients? That’s just one example of how this historic institution continues to shape the future of higher education and beyond.

So if you’re ready to embrace a culture of excellence and pursue your academic dreams at Howard University, go ahead and take that leap!