Hampton University, located in Hampton, Virginia, is set apart from others schools because of its deep, historical roots in African-American culture. Its school motto, "The Standard of Excellence," speaks to its commitment to rigorous education, multiculturalism and progressive thinking.
Hampton University began in 1861, when a freed black woman by the name of Mary Peake began teaching a group of approximately 20 black students under a large oak tree. This oak tree came to be known as the "Emancipation Oak" and symbolized the freedom for black people to receive an education. The Emancipation Proclamation was read aloud there in 1863.
As of 2015, there are approximately 3,500 undergraduate students, selected from an applicant pool of over 19,000. Tuition, room and board cost approximately $30,000 per year, but grants, scholarships and loans can help reduce or cover the costs.
Distinctive to Hampton University is a dress code, with typical college garb like hoodies and sagging pants not allowed. There is an expectation that students carry themselves in a socially appropriate manner. Undergraduate schools at the university include Journalism, Science, Nursing, Engineering & Technology, Education & Human Development, and Liberal Arts. There is also a Graduate School with various Master's degree programs in subjects like nursing, science, math, education and counseling.