The term HBCU came into effect with the Higher Education Act of 1965. The Higher Education Act of 1965 stated that an HBCU was "...any historically black college or university that was established prior to 1964, whose principal mission was, and is, the education of black Americans...” HBCUs gave African Americans who were long neglected equal education an opportunity to pursue higher learning. With this opportunity came change. This change directly affected our social standing, jobs, and standard of living as African Americans.Today, there are over one hundred historically black colleges and universities in our country offering higher learning to our communities. HBCUs are relevant because they continue to provide an academic haven for young African Americans. HBCUs are a great way for young African American men and women to gain knowledge of our heritage and culture in addition to academic success. Graduation from an HBCU forges within each individual the drive and determination to be a success and leaders within our communities.