What does HWCU stand for?

Historically white colleges and universities

When discussing education, HWCU stands for "historically white colleges and universities." This designation describes colleges and universities at which the majority of the student body has historically been White. HWCUs are often (but not always) also predominantly white institutions (PWIs), meaning the majority of their current student body is White.

HWCUs are most often discussed in contrast to historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs) and other minority-serving institutions (MSIs). Typically, these discussions revolve around the policies, prejudices, and social circumstances that kept HWCUs majority White, as well as actions the institutions can take to diversify their student bodies. Some examples of HWCUs include the majority of American colleges and universities.


How common is it for an HWCU to still be a PWI?
A use of HWCU on Twitter
A use of HWCU on Twitter

Related Slang


Updated September 9, 2021

HWCU definition by Slang.net

This page explains what the acronym "HWCU" means. The definition, example, and related terms listed above have been written and compiled by the Slang.net team.

We are constantly updating our database with new slang terms, acronyms, and abbreviations. If you would like to suggest a term or an update to an existing one, please let us know!