The website BestColleges.com ranks the nation’s colleges and universities in a number of categories and recently published a list of the best HBCUs. The website’s methodology ranks HBCUs by taking into account “academic standards, affordability, outcomes, student support, and the breadth and depth of online learning opportunities.”
Florida A&M University was ranked as the best HBCU in these rankings. North Carolina A&T State University ranked second and Bowie State University in Maryland ranked third. Howard University in Washington, D.C., and Delaware State University rounded out the top five. While “outcomes” is listed as a component in the rankings, four of the five top HBCUs in the BestColleges.com rankings have graduation rates below 50 percent.
In contrast, U.S. News & World Report ranks Spelman College in Atlanta, Howard University, Hampton University in Virginia, Morehouse College in Atlanta, and Xavier University of Louisiana among the top five HBCUs. Four of the top five in these rankings have graduation rates above 50 percent. All are private institutions and have higher costs, which apparently does damage to their rank in the BestColleges.com rankings, where affordability is a stated factor. Also many of the smaller, private colleges probably do not offer extensive online offerings, another significant component in the BestColleges.com ratings.
On the BestCollege.com rankings, Spelman is ranked tenth and Morehouse did not make the top 30.