Bridging the Divide: Student creates app to help students find the right HBCU

Students looking to attend any one of the nation’s 86 Historically Black Colleges and Universities now have an added boost courtesy of the smart phone app HBCU HUB.

As a go to for anyone trying to find the right college, the app provides some of the most important information people look for when choosing a historically black college to attend.

One of the ways the app accomplishes this is by showing users a “Report card” for each school that lists academics, costs, and the overall ranking of HBCU’s on a scale from A to F.

In addition to providing detailed information on schools, the app also allows users to participate in an online chat community, provides information about scholarships, connects students with a digital personal tutor and even gives tips for resumes and job interviews.

Jonathan Swindell, a 21-year-old Junior and Grambling State University student from Los Angeles, California is the designer and C.E.O of the HBCU HUB.

The idea and vision for HBCU HUB came about after Swindell entered an idea competition at GSU.

Originally, the app was loosely based on bringing HBCU students closer together but Swindell says that he saw a need in providing information specifically about HBCU’s.

“It’s a lot easier to get information on a PWI,” said Swindell, “They’re a lot bigger and have a lot more resources behind them, whereas at an HBCU, the information can be a bit scattered, so I saw a pain point within our community and HBCU HUB serves to fix that.”

After taking home first place at competition, Swindell decided to rebrand the app to make it a staple between high school students and HBCU’s but says that the app was created so that everyone can use it.

“We offer a free service called HUB Packs where the user is asked to answer questions such as, are you ‘High School Faculty, High School Student, Transfer Student, Graduate Student’, from there we make the transition easy by sending the information they need to apply for said HBCU of interest,” said Swindell while explaining who can use the app.

“This is just an example of how our organization has left no stone un turned in hopes to benefit any and everyone,” he finished.

HBCU HUB puts Swindell in the company of many alumni and students from HBCU’s across the country that have created smart phone apps geared toward HBCU students and urban communities.

According to a survey released by the IT website, TechNet, because of the creation of the smart phone and other technological devices within the past few years, jobs for app creation and development are at an all time high, a trend that HBCU’s have begun to embrace.

In 2016, the United Negro College Fund hosted it’s fifth annual HBCU Innovation Summit in Silicon Valley, an area of California famous for technological innovations and development.

Swindell also gave his thoughts and advice on what students interested in app development should do.

“One of the first things that you do is pickup a basic programming language such as python, because tech is such a fast moving industry you have to understand the basics first and once you understand those basics, and the terminology and environment, grow as much as you can.”

Since it’s release, the HBCU HUB App has more than one-thousand downloads and is being used in more than 32 states and five countries.

HBCU HUB is available on both Android and Apple devices for free.

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