What is PWI College?
A PWI is a predominantly white institution. It’s any higher education institution that was not previously classified as an HBCU before 1964. These institutions typically have a majority of white students, but there are also strays of other races, such as African Americans, Hispanics, Asians, and so forth. The term “Predominantly White Institution” refers to higher education institutions in which at least 50% of their student enrollment is White.
PWI College is an institution with histories, policies, and practices centered on whiteness or the white majority. Thus, by design, PWIs tend to marginalize people of color’s identities, perspectives, and procedures.
List of PWI Colleges & Websites
- Beth Medrash Govoha
- Hampton University
- Texas A & M International University
- Alabama State University
- Yeshiva University
- Southern University and A&M College
- Jackson State University
- Alcorn State University
- Alabama A&M University
- University of Texas Rio Grande Valley
Tips for Black Students Interested in Attending PWI Colleges
Locate a support group
“Finding a community and support network is the most important thing. It is hard to find people with similar backgrounds as you who have faced similar struggles. Last but not least, take care of your mental well-being. While college can be stressful and difficult, it can become more complicated when an underrepresented student. It would help if you made time for yourself even in the midst. “If you feel that you require counseling or health services, you can use them at your school.” -Rosa Elena Lopez.
Do not be afraid
“I did my thing. I commuted to school, worked 30 hours a week, and then went to school full-time. After completing my undergraduate degree, I enrolled in graduate school and began working full-time as a high school teacher. Now I’m in my second year of [Doctorate of Education] and still work full-time. I would recommend that you not be afraid to see the bigger picture and not be yourself. Remember that you are equally capable and deserving of being there.” -Valeria Carillo, 28
Self-love is a practice.
My top tip is radical self-love and celebration. You can be as loud about your Latinx identity as you like. You will be proud of all the ways that you exist. “I found that the more I worked to nurture that self-love of my Latinx identity was the more challenging it was for me to dispel the voices in my head that were coming from impostor syndrome.
Expect others to understand what you are going through
Self-care is essential; micro-aggressions can be found everywhere. It is vital to find a way to relax and remain focused. You may be the first person in your family to attend college. However, your white peers might not be able to understand the hardships that you went through to get here. It can be hard to live with so much white privilege. “Just breathe and move forward.” -A.J. Carmolina, 30
There are differences between HBCU and PWI.
The campus life at a PWI is very different from that at an HBCU. Events like Soul Food, Sunday, and Battle of the Bands are only held at HBCU campuses. A PWI may have events such as Mud Games or lacrosse games to highlight its calendar.
Only at the HBCU are areas of study such as urban education and urban affairs. The PWI offers similar courses that are elective.
Both a PWI and an HBCU offer a sense of community between students and the college where they have spent four crucial years. Sometimes I think about what it would feel like to attend an HBCU, even though I love my college.