Hampton University Faces Backlash After Offering Free Schooling to Over 50 Students in Ukraine

Hampton University Faces Backlash After Offering Free Schooling to Over 50 Students in Ukraine

Hampton University. Image: HamptonU.edu

Amid the ongoing war in Ukraine, the country is receiving swarms of American support. Last Wednesday, HBCU Hampton University announced its plan to aid the European country by offering free room, board, and tuition to Ukrainian and international students.

An official announcement from the school states:

“In a humanitarian effort to help those college students and families affected by the current conflict in Ukraine, Hampton University President Dr. William R. Harvey has announced that it will invite 50-100 Ukrainian and international college students presently studying in Ukraine to continue their education on HU’s campus this summer.”

After enjoying a summer of free education at one of the top HBCUs in the country, the Ukrainian and international students would have the option to stay at HU for regular tuition and fees once the summer semester ends, NBC 12 reports.

“The collective Hampton University faculty, staff and students are heartbroken because the war-torn country of Ukraine must deal with atrocities like the bombing of maternity wards, hospitals, and other civilian areas,” Dr. Harvey said.

“I think this partnership is something that can be beneficial to a great number of students and families. My entire career has been focused on helping people to achieve and meet their goals.”

HU’s announcement referenced a similar agreement offered to students from the University of the Bahamas in 2019 after their north campus was destroyed in Hurricane Dorian.

However, once HU alumni caught wind of Dr. Harvey’s offer to Ukraine, many took to social media to call him out.

“Tomorrow, every person who cares about the safety of black students at #hamptonuniversity need to call Dr. Harvey office and demand they rescind this offer immediately or the alumni will not give back or attend homecoming this year,” one alumnus wrote.

“I attend @_HamptonU now, and I recently took out $10,500 loan to pay my remaining balance, I am beyond livid about what they are doing,” another user wrote. “I am in the process of sending an email to the president and seeking legal options. I could use that money, and other students like me.”


Others noted how “embarrassing” the entire situation was for HU’s legacy.

“Damn bringing Ukrainians to come to an HBCU to complete their studies. Where are the white Ivy league Universities or White State Land Grant Colleges making that offer? You know what?” another person tweeted. “They ain’t making that offer. @_HamptonU is taking a big L. Not a good look.”


Over on Instagram, after The Shade Room shared the news story, many started sounding off.

“That’s amazing but ummmmmm…I know some kids around the corner from Hampton that need school at no cost too, some kids in Harlem, some kids in Philly, some kids in Atlanta,” wrote TV personality Yandy Smith. “Hmmmmmm happy for the Ukrainians tho.”

“But did they offer their own students that are affected by hardships any free tuition?” asked someone else.

“All those young people graduating with all that student loan debt, but go off Hampton… Chillllleeeee… Bye!” one user wrote.

“It’s crazy how much support they’re giving those outside of this country yet there are students in house that can’t even afford their tuition let alone the application fees. But be great,” another person added.