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Norfolk State University, Interim President and CEO Melvin Stith, celebrated best what historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs) do well.

In his remarks at the annual Norfolk State spring opening conference, Dr. Stith referenced the “strong sense of community,” which attracted some of the most successful high school students to HBCUs over the past year.

“Consider NSU freshman Tytianna Smith (right) who graduated from Lafayette High School in Alabama with a 4.6 GPA and successfully applied to over 50 colleges and received over $1.7 million in scholarships,” he said. “When asked why she chose NSU over the many other options she had available to her, Tytianna said that she selected NSU because after walking on campus she ‘felt at home.'”

Dr. Stith stressed “community” is what will help drive future success at the HBCU.

Seventeen-year-old Michael Brown, a senior at Lamar High School in Houston, TX, made headlines in April. The teenager with a 4.68 GPA got a full ride to Stanford University and 19 other schools.

On March 30,  Brown tweeted:

“Honored to share my story to show other students that if you put in the work, you will be rewarded — much love to all the first-gen college students, low-income students, and students of color who are just trying to achieve their dreams.”

Brown applied to 20 universities in the US and was admitted to every single one with a full ride, plus $260,000 in additional scholarships.

In May, Tennessee State University announced that it continues to attract high achievers.

Jayla Woods, a graduate of Whitehaven High School in Memphis with nearly $9 million in scholarship offers to attend 160 colleges, chose Tennessee State University (TSU).

“I have always wanted to attend an HBCU,” Woods told TSU News Service. “I want to do a double major in nutrition and athletic training, and TSU will let me do that.”

Meaghen Jones, a fellow Whitehaven High School classmate with more than $10 million in offers from 213 colleges. Jones also announced that she planned to attend TSU on full scholarships.

“Tennessee State University is a place with high standards for high achievers,” said TSU President Glenda Glover. “More and more we continue to attract elite scholars who value the world-class programs and quality education offered here in a caring community of faculty, staff and administrators who are committed to excellence.”

Meaghen is now a pre-med student. She was one of 25 high school seniors awarded Academic High Achiever Scholarships to TSU last fall.

TSU has been rated as one of the top universities in the country by Washington Monthly for social mobility, research and community service.


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