Morehouse College, a historically Black college and university (HBCU) for males, has launched an online program that aims to help Black men finish school.
Starting this August, the institution will reduce tuition for men who already have some of their college credits. According to NPR, Morehouse College President David Thomas says he got the idea while attending alumni events.
“It almost never failed that someone would pull me aside and say, ‘Is there some way I can finish my degree? I feel this amazing connection to Morehouse, it did so much for me.’ But for one reason or another, they never actually got their degree,” he told the outlet.
Thomas said the flexibility of the program will allow students to “set their own time clock” for when they achieve their degrees. Students who enroll in the online program will no longer have to be on campus to gain credits. They also don’t have to follow a regular academic schedule.
Morehouse will partner with 2U, INC. for the online classes and will charge $600 per course credit, which will cut the costs for online students by half. Thomas believes the initiative will create advanced education opportunities “for individuals to deepen their education and go to graduate school and professional school.”
He also believes that degrees help Black men get better opportunities, while white men “might get a break if they’ve got lots of experience, but they don’t have a college degree. Blacks don’t get that same benefit of the doubt.”
The program was initially going to be open to 1,000 students over the next five years, however, the interest has been overwhelming. Within three days of Morehouse’s announcement, the school received 5,000 inquiries about the online initiative. Thomas said they may allow 2,000 students to join. Enrollment is expected to begin this spring.