Carver student Keon Davis reports from Fisk University, one stop on the Carver College Tour

Fisk University

By Keon Davis, 10th grader Norwalk High School

It was faith that brought Jason Harrison, admission counselor at Fisk University to our group. He greeted us and ushered us to the Fisk Memorial Chapel. He had a communication style that was witty, jovial and yet stern.

He commanded our attention and shared his journey from Detroit, Michigan to Nashville, Tennessee. Jason is a proud graduate of Fisk. He graduated in 2005 and has elected to remain with the university. It was Jason's frankness that resonated with us. He was not pushy for us to select Fisk University; he was more interested in laying out options and sharing his ideas on the college selection process.

Jason insisted that we look at four criteria during our college selection process. First, does the school offer the academic programs that you are interested in?  Secondly, Is this school a social fit? Thirdly, Does the school fit your needs and fourthly, is the school a financial fit?  

Fisk has no minimum GPA admission requirement, but this does not mean that everyone gains admission. The selection committee takes a strong look at your recommendations and test scores. The tuition is $32,191, and though it may be pricey it's a down payment on the gateway to a good life.

Fisk was founded in January 9, 1866; it is the oldest university in Nashville. It is located on 40-acre campus in the heart of Nashville, Tennessee. Fisk enrolls around 754 students from 25 states and 7 countries in its undergraduate and graduate programs. Their student body is 90% African American with 75% of students not being from Tennessee.

Did you know Fisk was the first among historically Black colleges and universities (HBCU) to gain accreditation by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools? Did you know Fisk was the first HBCU to receive a prestigious Phi Beta Kappa Chapter? Did you also know that Fisk was the first HBCU to be accredited by the National Association of Schools of Music?

Fisk's persistence rate is 84%, the national average persistence rate is 66.5%. All of Fisk's numbers are great but the environment is even better. They make you feel welcome as if it's your own home. Charles S. Johnson (1893-1956), Fisk University's first African American president, is credited for the school's great achievements in the early years.

During a tour of Great Britain and Europe in 1873, Fisk Jubilee Singers (11 members) performed “Steal Away to Jesus” and “Go Down Moses” for Queen Victoria. Queen Victoria was so impressed that she commented that with such beautiful voices, they had to be from the Music City of the USA. This is how Nashville, Tennessee earned its name – Music City USA. The tour raised $150,000, which was used to build Fisk's first permanent building named Jubilee Hall. It was fitting that Fisk bestowed an honorary doctorial degree on the “King of Pop” Michael Jackson in 1988 for his musical accomplishments.

Fisk University will suit you if you like a cozy, warm environment. Everyone knows each other and if they don't know you they will go out of their way to try to help you out. It is a great college to help you prepare for the real world.