Carver students Liberty Corbett and Paul Louis share their experiences visiting Tennessee State University

Tennessee State University

By Liberty Corbett and Paul Louis. 

The third report in a series written by the students on the 2017 Carver College Tour

If you are an African American scholar looking for an environment rich in history and culture, then Tennessee State University (TSU) is the college for you.

Tennessee State University was founded in 1912, as a Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU) school and today 75% of the school population is African American. TSU also attracts another 10% Caucasian students and 15% from other ethnicities with its inspiring faculty and academic excellence. There are approximately 9,000 students enrolled and there is a 17-to-1 student to professor ratio. TSU opens its doors to 77 different majors including engineering, which is ranked 2nd in Nashville, computer science, business, agricultural science, and nursing and much more. In addition, the school offers all branches of ROTC. More than 100 student organizations offer many opportunities for engagement. TSU has a great band to headline the many Division 1 Ohio Valley conference sports such as volleyball, basketball, track, and swimming, plus a great performing arts program.

Oprah Winfrey is a 1986 graduate of TSU and is arguably one of its most famous alumni. She is a multi-media mogul, who has garnered international appeal for her talk show, film performances and as owner of the OWN network. Oprah is the first Black woman billionaire in world history and has surpassed Meg Whitman as the richest self-made millionaire woman in America, and she has given back to the university by supporting the school's Performing Arts Center. Track and field athlete Wilma Rudolph and the late Knicks player Anthony Mason are also famous TSU graduates.

Like many HBCU schools, “The Divine Nine” has a prominent presence on campus. There are nine historically Black Greek letter organizations for Sororities and fraternities and eight of the nine are found on TSU’s campus.  Here are the “Divine nine”

•   Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Founded 1906, Cornell University

•   Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Founded 1908, Howard University

•   Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Founded 1911, Indiana University

•   Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Founded 1911, Howard University

•   Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Founded 1913, Howard University

•   Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity, Founded 1914, Howard University

•   Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Founded 1920, Howard University

•   Sigma Gamma Rho Sorority, Founded 1922, Butler University

•   Iota Phi Theta Fraternity, Founded 1963, Morgan State University

Each of these fraternities and sororities is rich in history. Ties to one or more of these organizations may be found in many college-educated Black families in the United States.

To gain admission to TSU, you need a GPA of at least 2.5, SAT score of 900, and or an ACT score of at least an 18. Students with a GPA of a 3.5 or higher are able to enroll in the honors program in the school which allows access to separate dorms and many other great opportunities. The tuition of TSU for out-of-state students is $28,000 including your meal plan, parking, and dorm fees. Financial aid programs and scholarship are available for all students to apply for during the months of February through March. Free tutoring and health care are offered to all students attending TSU to help you through college. It is required that students gain 120 credits and take all their core classes including math, science, English, and history before graduating. The school is located in a good area, and is deemed safe.

TSU faculty is working to increase the schools graduation rate beyond its current rate of 42%. What is promising is that 75% percent of TSU graduates found a job or internships after graduating. This school has a great environment and is a great place to study and begin your career. This is a family away from home. We recommend this school!

Jim Schaffer