Stanley F. Battle Looks to Attract the Best and Brightest Black Students to North Carolina A&T State University

A decade ago Florida A&M University, the historically black educational institution in Tallahassee, enrolled 73 National Achievement Scholars, more than any other college or university in the nation. Frederick Humphries, the president of Florida A&M University until 2002, traveled the country seeking out and recruiting the nation’s most talented black students. Many of the college-bound blacks recruited by President Humphries were offered four-year scholarships which included full tuition, room and board, and spending money.

But over the past decade, numerous financial problems, turmoil in administrative ranks, and cuts in financial aid at FAMU have hampered the university’s ability to attract the nation’s brightest college-bound black students. In the fall of 2006 only one of the 800 National Achievement Scholars enrolled at Florida A&M.

Now Stanley F. Battle, chancellor of North Carolina A&T State University in Greensboro, wants to replicate the earlier success of Florida A&M in attracting the nation’s top black students.

This fall the university will launch its Lewis and Elizabeth Dowdy Scholars program. The scholarship program will be available for both North Carolina residents and out-of-state students.

Under the plan, incoming freshmen who have a 3.75 grade point average in high school and who scored at least 1200 on the combined mathematics and critical reading sections of the SAT college entrance examination will receive full scholarships covering tuition, fees, and room and board. In addition, students who were either first or second in their high school class and had SAT scores above 1100 would also be given full scholarships.

Students who score above 1000 on the SAT and who have a grade point average of at least 3.25 will be awarded scholarships ranging between 50 percent and 75 percent of tuition and fees.

Students will have to maintain a grade point average of 3.3 in college in order to maintain their scholarships.