Tracking Graduation Rates at HBCUs

Journal of Blacks in Higher Education, January 5, 2012

JBHE has compiled a listing of Black student graduation rates at a large group of the nation’s historically Black colleges and universities. The graduation rates shown here are four-year averages for Black students who entered a particular college or university from 2001 to 2004 and earned their degree at the same institution within six years.

The highest Black student graduation rate at the HBCUs is at Spelman College in Atlanta. There, 79 percent of entering students graduate from Spelman within six years. This rate is higher than the Black student graduation rate at many of the nation’s highest-ranked colleges and universities. The Black student graduation at Spelman College is 15 percentage points higher than at any other HBCU in our survey.

The Black student graduation rate at Howard University is 64 percent. This ranks Howard second among the HBCUs in our survey. Morehouse College in Atlanta ranks third with a Black student graduation rate of 61 percent.

The only other HBCU in our survey with a Black student graduation rate of more than 50 percent is Hampton University in Virginia. {snip}

At nearly half the HBCUs in our survey, the Black student graduation rate is 33 percent or lower. At these institutions, less than one third of all entering African American students earned a bachelor’s degree within six years. There are six HBCUs in our survey where less than one in five entering Black students earn a bachelor’s degree within six years.

The lowest Black student graduation rate is at the University of the District of Columbia. There, only 10 percent of entering students earn their degree at UDC within six years. {snip}

Even more discouraging is the recent trend in graduation rates at historically Black colleges and universities. Of the 37 HBCUs in our survey, 21 have shown a decline in their Black student graduation rate over the past five years. Only 15 HBCUs have shown an improvement. {snip}


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  • Anonymous

    I would be more interested to see some stats showing what percent of these students receive some form of financial aid, what kind of aid it is and what percent of their total tuition bill is covered by it. I know for a fact that black students can actually turn a profit on going to these or any other universities. You have to remember that grants and other aid is usually given without regard to how much other aid has already been recevied from other sources or to how much is needed to cover tuition. Leftover money then goes to “living expenses” like new rims for cars (and the actual car)……

  • Anonymous

    “The highest Black student graduation rate at the HBCUs is at Spelman College in Atlanta.”

    I just wonder if the high percentage is due to the dumbed down questions like, “What be two plus two?”

    • Anonymous

      But there must be several “difficult” questions such as…

      What is the name of a large country that lies between the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans…hint it has fifty states and the President’s name is Obama

  • Anonymous

    The democratic party should be made to answer for the overall poor performances listed above. With their civil rights legislation and great society crap they have destroyed the black family in America. Kids who come from fractured families can hardly be expected to excell in an environment where lots of ‘atta boys’ and encourgement are needed just to keep on with a difficult course of studies.

  • No, the high graduation rate at Spellman is due to the fact that it is a woman’s college and Black women tend to graduate at higher rates than Black men do. I have met many Spellman graduates and they are a highly intellegent group of women.

  • Another reason why the graduation rates at HBCU are so low. The reason is that many of the schools have open admission policies that admit any high school graduate, regardless of grades and test scores. Schools such as Spelman, Howard and Morehouse have high academic standards than most of the other schools in the survey.

    • Impertinent

      “many of the schools have open admission policies that admit any high school graduate, regardless of grades and test scores.”

      So do most prisons.

  • Lowered standards and still such low graduation rates?  I don’t think I need to say anymore.

  • Anonymous

    Crystal Evans. you are correct.  I have met several Black women who are graduates of Spelman College,. They are very capable, intelligent women. In fact, they are among some of the brightest women I have met of any race.

    • Anonymous

      You have met the so-called talented 10% for African Americans. Unfortunately the rest of the are abysmally stupid. Try working with a few of these…

    • Impertinent

      Then why do ( many, many ) they keep accepting an 80% illegitimate rate? Why do they keep hooking up with criminals and winding up  on welfare?

      • Anonymous

        Huh!? I do not know what you are talking about.  I am almost certain that very few, if any of the women who attend Spelman College are “hooking up ” (to use your term) with criminals or wind up on welfare. In fact, many of them go on to earn Ph.D’s. law degrees, MBA’s, medial degrees, work in television etc…. 

        You are sadly misguided.

        • Impertinent

          Well…they’re not out there preaching ( using those credentials ) the benefits of education, freedom and the joy of dual parenting…are they?

  • MAJ

    I think graduation rates are rather pointless statistics – at least for most of these these “colleges.”

    I doubt having a degree from Coppin State or wherever means much of anything aside from the fact that a student somehow managed to hang around for 6 years.

    The bigger issue is why these colleges exist at all. In our so-called “post-racial” environment I fail to see the point. In addition, like every other black endeavor, these schools simply stamp the word “Incompetent” on the degree holder.

    You can’t tell me that just about everyone understands just how worthless a degree from nearly all of these schools happen to be.

    My feeling is that these schools exist so they can avoid having their students compete next to White students or majority White schools. It’s well-known that HBCUs get a pass in having to conform to requirements other schools must adhere to.

    Just another attempt to hide failure behind the smoke-screen of black “culture.”

  • Anonymous

    blacks laugh at victim and high five after case dismissed because of non SNITCHING witness to BEATING OF WHITE MAN FOR SPORT

  • Anonymous

    The fact is that MANY faculty that teach at HBCU’s are White.

  • Anonymous

    The fact is that many of thes young women do donate their time and effort in inner city school and rural communities to help those that are less fortunate. Please make sure you check your facts before you spew out such inaccurate information.