HBCUs Exceed Expectations When it Comes to Black Enrollment and Graduation Rates

A new report from the United College Negro Fund (UCNF) has found that HBCUs have very positive impacts on African Americans in their respective states despite their small average size and limited resources.

“The impact of HBCUs has been collectively downplayed, overlooked and undervalued, and HBCUs Punching Above Their Weight illustrates what everyone who has graduated from or taught at a HBCU has long known,” said UNCF president and CEO Michael L. Lomax,” that for students in search of a higher education and for a country in urgent need of college-educated workers, a country rapidly becoming a majority-minority workforce, there’s no better choice than HBCUs.”

When broken down by state, the UNCF report demonstrates the impressive “multiplier effect” that HBCUs have on African Americans. In Florida, HBCUs represent just 4 percent of the state’s four-year college and universities, but enroll 9 percent of all Black undergraduates and award 18 percent of bachelor’s degrees to Black graduates. In Louisiana, HBCUs represent 19 percent of all colleges and universities in the state, but 38 percent of all Black students and graduates. In Virginia, HBCUs represent 11 percent of the state’s college and universities, but 29 percent of Black students and 32 percent of Black graduates. Delaware State University, the only HBCU in the state of Delaware, represents 20 percent of the four-year institutions in Delaware, but enrolls 40 percent of Black students and awards degrees to 47 percent of Black graduates in Delaware.

“The economic health of the country, and especially the economic health of the highly-diverse Southeast, is fueled by education,” said Brian Bridges, UNCF’s vice president of research and member engagement. “The current and future needs of employers, workers, and communities leaves us little choice but to invest in the proven capability of HBCUs to produce the results that our continued prosperity demands.”

The full report, HBCUs Punching Above Their Weight, may be accessed here.

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