Avery University versus Hillman College in the All Star Challenge Tournament, remember that episode of ‘A Different World?’ Dwayne Wayne and Whitley may have lost the quiz bowl but it demonstrates what an important role The Honda Campus All-Star Challenge has with HBCU schools.  Two top historically black colleges competing against one another not just for the $1500 prize but for prominent stature among HBCUs.  Now although Hillman College is fictional, there is a resonated exclamation of “black pride” and high intelligence that was sought after for so many years. 

Historically Black Colleges and Universities are institutions of higher education in the United States that were established before 1964 to serve the black community when no one else would serve the black community.  Now there are 105 historically black colleges and universities in the United States today.  Of the 105 colleges and universities, only the four-year degree programs are eligible to enroll teams in the quiz bowl tournament; 48 have enlisted, all 89 are eligible. 

So what is the big deal about having a quiz bowl team at your HBCU?

“Hey! Not so fast sticky fingers, you owe me a nickel and don’t you ever try to cheat me again!” Whitley Gilbert.

Whitley may have been on a budget and trying to be frugal but the Honda Campus All-Star Challenge is a chance for many HBCUs to gain funding that would not ordinarily be there.  Since 1989 students of HBCUs have been able to earn their schools over $6 million in grants from Honda. HBCUs have had a difficult era of raising financial support and the Honda All Star Challenge is the first and hopefully not the last academic competition of its kind. 

The quiz bowl is unique because unlike modern College Bowls, all enrollees receive money.  The National Competition Tournament representatives are all awarded grants:

Representative Schools                                                                                Awarded Grants

NCT Champions $50,000
Runner-Up $25,000
Semifinalists $15,000
Quarterfinalists $7,500
Teams that made first round playoffs $5,000
NCT qualifiers $3,000
All-Star Players $1,000
Recipient of Sports Award $1,000


The quiz bowl not only validates that HBCUs have progressed in a society that held so many bars against them but it also allows for HBCUs to continue to progress and enhance student programs, student life, college experience, and future endeavors.  The alumni of the Honda All Star Challenge have classified their HBCUs as intellectual heavyweights and contenders for success in and outside of campus.  The alumni have gone on to contribute towards society in many areas such as science, math, and technology. 

This year the HCASC celebrated its 22nd year of a ground-breaking academic program.  It has showcased what HBCUs are about and what they will continue to be about:  intelligence, innovation, and integrity. Let’s continue this amazing tradition that provides funding and development.

For more information about the Honda Campus All-Star Challenge, please visit www.hcasc.com


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