Posted on June 27, 2011

Are Black Colleges Becoming Whiter?

JBHE Weekly Bulletin, June 23, 2011

Enrollments at the nation’s historically black colleges and universities remain at the highest level in history. According to U.S. Department of Education data, there were 322,789 students enrolled at HBCUs in 2009, the latest year complete data is available. Enrollments increased 3 percent from 2008 to 2009 and are up 17 percent since the turn of the century.


Of the 322,789 students enrolled in HBCUs, 264,090, or 81.8 percent, are black. In 2000, blacks made up 82.4 percent of the total enrollments at HBCUs. As far back at 1980, blacks were 81.8 percent of the total enrollments at HBCUs, the same percentage that exists today. Yes, there are HBCUs which have significantly increased their white enrollments. But, despite numerous press reports to the contrary, in general the “whitening of black colleges” is simply a myth.