20 Facts About HBCUs

  1. Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) are institutions of higher education in the United States that were established before 1964 with the intention of serving the African American
  2. HBCUs significantly contribute to the creation of African American science degree holders: agriculture (51.6 percent), biology (42.2 percent), computer science (35 percent), physical science (43 percent), and social science (23.2 percent).
  3. Most HBCUs were established after the American Civil War, often with the assistance of northern religious missionary organizations. However, Cheyney University of Pennsylvania (1837), Lincoln University (Pennsylvania) (1854), and Wilberforce University (1856), were established for blacks before the American Civil War. Established in 1865, Shaw University was the first HBCU in the South to be established after the American Civil War.
  4. The first HBCU owned and operated by African Americans was Wilberforce University in Ohio, which was founded in 1856. It was named for William Wilberforce who first led efforts to abolish slavery.
  5. Graduation rates at HBCUs are on the decline. 
 Last year, the average graduation rate at a four-year HBCU hovered around 59 percent. Though higher than that national average for Black students at non-HBCUs, no HBCU saw graduation rates above 70 percent.
  6. There are 106 historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs) in the United States, including public and private institutions, community and four-year institutions, medical and law schools.
  7. Nine of the top ten colleges that graduate most of the African American students who go on to earn Ph.D.s are HBCUs.
  8. White abolitionists who had wealth and political and military ties created some HBCUs. People like Gen. O.O. Howard, Clinton B. Fisk, Henry Martin Tupper (founder of North Carolina’s Shaw University) and others worked with the Freedmen’s Bureau to create educational institutions for Black people.
  9. The majority of HBCUs are endangered. Morris Brown in Atlanta, GA lost its accreditation in 2002, St. Paul’s College in Lawrenceville, VA closed its doors in 2013, Barber Scotia College in Concord, NC lost its accreditation from SACS in 2004 and just recently announced in 2015 that it will not be open for spring 2016, Wilberforce University in Wilberforce, OH just received full accreditation status in fall of 2015 after being place on show cause in spring of 2014.
  10. More than 50% of the nation’s African American public school teachers and 70% of African American dentists earned degrees at HBCUs.
  11. Spelman and Bennett Colleges produce over half of the nation's African American women who go on to earn doctorates in all science fields.
  12. There is a push by some policy makers and legislators to shut HBCUs down as they argue the relevance of these institutions.
  13. The Morrill Acts were federal land grants that guaranteed funds for colleges. The first federal land grant in 1862 did not apply to HBCUs. The only HBCU to be considered for a land grant was Alcorn University in Mississippi. The second Morrill Act of 1890 granted federal funds to HBCUs and provided 25,000 acres of land for collegiate development.
  14. Fewer students are choosing to attend HBCUs. In the days of Jim Crow, Black students typically only had one choice when seeking higher education: Apply to an HBCU. Even in the decades following the Civil Rights Movement, 80 percent of African-Americans were opting to attend one. However, those numbers have fallen drastically since the 80s.
  15. Over half of all African American professionals are graduates of HBCUs.
  16. Lack of funding has forced HBCUs to cut costs, eliminate programs and sell valuable resources, sadly making these institutions less attractive to incoming students.
  17. James Weldon Johnson graduated from HBCU Atlanta University and wrote the words to the famous Lift Every Voice and Sing, he is also a member of Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity, Inc.
  18. There are 4 HBCU medical schools; their names are Meharry Medical College (TN), Morehouse School of Medicine (GA), Charles R. Drew School of Medicine and Science (CA), and Howard University School of Medicine (DC). Xavier University of Louisiana is #1 nationally in placing African-Americans into medical school. Howard University is #1 in graduating PhDs.
  19. There are over 100 HBCUs in the United States. HBCUs are located within 20 states and the District of Columbia (AL, AR, CA, DE, DC, FL, GA, KY, LA, MD, MI, MS, MO, NC, OH, OK, PA, SC, TN, TX, VA, WV and the U.S. Virgin Islands).
  20. HBCUs have over a $10.2 billion positive impact on the nation’s economy.

Source: https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/20-amazing-facts-hbcus-dana-l-merck-mpa/