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What are they?

Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) are universities established before 1964 that were previously and are still predominantly devoted to the education of black Americans. HBCUs offer rich culture, history, programs, and experiences that are unique to African American communities. These colleges have played a vital role in the progression of American education. During an extensive period of time in the United States, the only way African Americans could receive a college education was by attending an HBCU. Continuing from their origins, they provide affordable, valuable education tailored specifically to students of color.

According to the Thurgood Marshall College Fund, HBCUs contribute 22% of current bachelor’s degrees granted to African Americans. Among African Americans, HBCU graduates represent 40% of members in Congress, 12.5% of CEOs, 50% of lawyers, and 80% of judges. These institutions have been highly successful in paving the way for black Americans to attain fruitful careers.

What do they offer?

HBCUs offer affordable education to millions of African American students. Even though these universities have a historically black student body, they are not exclusive to African Americans alone. Many HBCUs across the nation now have a 20% non-black student body. Because of this inclusion, students who are not African American can experience the environment and history that is associated with colleges devoted to educating the African American community.

At an HBCU, students will find professors and faculty members who care deeply for their students. Students from similar backgrounds will be able to connect and build a strong support network. These institutions enable students to take pride in their identity and equip them to create a lasting impact throughout their careers. Many schools offer scholarships for African American students so they will be able to attend without a financial burden. Furthermore, HBCUs offer a network of alumni who are passionate about connecting students to extraordinary opportunities. You may even find yourself among famous graduates from an HBCU such as Oprah Winfrey.

A Few HBCUs:

Florida A&M University

Spelman College

Tuskegee University

Hampton University

Jackson State University

For a full list, visit the National Center for Education Statistics. If you’re searching for a specific major, this website also allows you to search for an HBCU by filtering the program.