Historically Black Colleges and Universities Flunk Obama’s College Scorecard

Brendan Thomas, Daily Caller, February 28, 2013

In his State of the Union Address, President Barack Obama said the Department of Education’s newly released College Scorecard would help parents and students “compare schools based on a simple criteria: where you can get the most bang for your educational buck.”

According to the latest statistics, America’s historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs) consistently fail to meet that “criteria.”

A Wall Street Journal analysis of the Scorecard puts HBCUs next to for-profit art schools when it comes to leaving students with high amounts of debt and degrees written in “red ink.”

The free-market American Enterprise Institute’s Frederick Hess told The Daily Caller HBCUs are a “dangerous” topic of conversation in education circles.

“The subject’s racially charged,” he said. “If we were to apply the gainful-employment method the federal government applies to for-profit schools to HBCUs, their students would no longer receive federal financial aid.”

In 2012, the Department of Education described 218 post-secondary schools that could lose federal student aid if their students continue to exhibit three-year default rates over 30 percent. Fourteen were HBCUs. That means, of approximately 6,900 accredited schools nationwide, 3.2 percent could loose federal support, while 13.3 percent of HBCUs face that risk.

Morehouse College in Atlanta—Martin Luther King, Jr.’s alma mater and one of the most famous HBCUs—is not in as much trouble as those 218 yet, but its numbers reflect the troubling trend. In 2011-2012, only 36 percent of Morehouse students had graduated in four years, and only 55 percent had graduated in six years, according to the National Center for Educational Statistics. And whether they graduated or not, 76 percent owed loans averaging over $40,000 to cover annual tuition of $23,234, a number the College Scorecard terms “high.” In addition, 27 percent of Morehouse students defaulted on loan payments.

{snip} The student loan default rate is 13.8 percent nationally, while at for-profit institutions—a diverse group ranging from University of Phoenix to cosmetology schools—the average rate is 22.7 percent.

Nationally, the average student debt is $27,253. At all-male Morehouse, it’s nearly $10,000 higher. Only The Creative Center, the Manhattan School of Music and the Southern California Institute of Architecture—three for-profit art schools—show higher student debt, according to the Journal’s findings.


Just 41 percent of students at Clark Atlanta University graduate in six years, leaving campus with an average $24,653 of debt. Payscale.com, estimates Clark Atlanta students receive a 30-year return on their investment of negative $109,000.

The online job compensation calculator estimates students at Shaw University in North Carolina receive a return of negative $112,000. A negative “ROI” mean students at these two schools do worse financially over a 30-year period than if they had never attended.

Hess says the reason for such poor scores could be many HBCU students often come from low-income backgrounds and are first-generation college attendees. But because “nobody looks,” he said, there is too little research on the topic to know for sure.

“It’s politically incorrect to talk about,” the Center for College Affordability’s Anthony Vedder told TheDC. Vedder said when he tried to raise the issue with black educators, “I almost got chased out of the room.”


Robert McCluskey, an education and child policy expert at the libertarian Cato Institute, pointed out that unlike other institutions of higher learning, HBCUs receive direct federal funding to cover their basic operating costs. In fact, HBCUs are a line item in the federal budget.


The Department of Education reports that in 2008, five federal agencies and departments awarded more than 10 percent of their higher education spending to HBCUs. The Departments of Justice, Homeland Security and Housing and Urban Development each contributed more than 30 percent of their higher education spending. HBCUs received 33 percent of all federal support for facilities, and 14 percent for un-categorized “other” support that year.

The next year, 2009, the most recent one for which figures are available, HBCUs also received a disproportionate amount of federal support, though 105 of them made up just one percent of America’s total number of accredited institutions of higher learning. {snip}


Then in 2012, the Department of Education awarded $227.9 million to HBCUs around the country to “help these important institutions continue to provide their students with the quality education they need to compete in the global economy.” {snip}

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  • steve7789

    Blacks who go to “historically black” colleges tend to do better than ones who go to more integrated ones though. People tend to learn better when they feel part of a community of learners.

    • The__Bobster

      And when average White kids go to them, they become the valedictorians despite being surrounded by students unlike them.

      • MekongDelta69

        When white kids go to HBCs, they wind up… dead.

        • crystalevans

          A few years ago, a young white man was the class valedictorian at Morehouse College.

          • Justin_Igger

            Lucky he survived and didn’t get killed, robbed, and raped, in that order.

      • Nate Higgers

        That’s the equivalent of a chess master playing a game of checkers with a toddler.

    • So CAL Snowman

      I tended to do better at simple arithmetic than organic chemistry. There’s a reason that the ivy league has a dearth of black faces. I feel pretty confident that I could pass any class at an HBCU without attending a single lecture.

      • brengunn

        I feel pretty confident that I could pass any class at an HBCU without attending a single lecture.

        Afro-centric history!? I think not, sir!

        • So CAL Snowman

          Afro – centric History In a Nutshell : by So CAL Snowman

          The Africans built the pyramids, and invented helicopters and airplanes in ancient Egypt. The White man living in his caves somehow made his way down through Spain and across Northern Africa and saw what the African had created. The White man stole this technology and then returned about 1600 years later (in wooden boats) to conquer and enslave the superior African race with their superior African technology. This enslavement of the African race made them forget about their history and all of their wonderful technology, thus preventing them from ever again rebuilding their technologically advanced societies. The cruel White man enslaved millions of Africans, preventing them from building the United States of Africa. The evil Whites used the brain power of the Africans to invent all of our modern conveniences and then the evil White man took credit for these inventions. The evil White man made the Africans “build” the United States and then deprived them of the fruits of the country they built! Finally some Whites with sense (obviously influenced by morally superior free blacks) decided to free the slaves, but they were only free in the North! The Africans understood that they had to “overcome” and sang songs and marched real hard until the dirty, KKK, Nazi loving Southerners would consider them their equal. Now we have a bi-racial president that looks and acts like a traditional African. We call that Progress ’round here nomsayin’. I will conclude this report by saying that Nike shoes and KFC are an institution unto themselves good sirs! To the top of the mountaintop, HO!

          • brengunn

            Whadya know! You’re a skola!

          • Uh-Oh

            Just a small point: No racial or ethnic group can take credit for ancient Egypt without also shouldering the responsibility for pioneering slavery as an institution. In this case, it means the enslavement of white people from adjacent geographical areas as well as black people.

          • bigone4u

            I believe it’s the Black Muslims who teach that an evil scientists created whites as a race of devils in the test tube thousands of years ago. Yakub is the scientist’s name. Blacks are so funny with the junk that they think up.

          • StillModerated

            Read the long tricknology version at http://www.thenationofislam.org/yakubabraham.html if you want the full belly laugh, or you can cut to the chase with the wiki version at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yakub_(Nation_of_Islam)

            Still no news of the mother ship.

          • katzkiner

            China steals a lot of missile tech yet we still manage to built missiles. Can you understand how dumb you sound saying the white man stole tech from the blacks. In the words of you “Lord and Savior, You didn’t build that.”

          • StillModerated

            I’m waiting for the archaeologist who announces that Zimbabwe was not built by blacks after all, but was built by Portuguese missionaries.

    • Nate Higgers

      Community of rape apes.

    • blacks who go to HCBU may well feel like they are in a community, but it’s not a community of learners, you need to read about what really goes on at a HCBU. it’s more shuckin’ and jivin’ than readin’ and writin’!

  • MekongDelta69

    And did you really expected something else?!

  • Tom Iron

    Interesting that when many of these institutions were opened, they put out some good people. Now, as the figures suggest, they can’t even come out a little ahead on their investment. The worst thing that ever happened to black people was to get conned by the likes of WEB Dubois who told them there was a shortcut to equlity, through the ballot box, rather then through hard work, which was what Booker T. Washington was telling them.

    • crystalevans

      Because those individuals did not have a choice to go elsewhere. The top black students tend to go to predominately white colleges, leaving the HBCU’s to those who are not as skilled. I think the exception could be made for the top quality HCBU’s like Spelman College and Howard University. I have met a lot sharp people from those schools.

      • Katherine McChesney

        Tennessee State University is in my city. A degree from TSU isn’t worth the paper it’s written on. One day I googled for comments related to students experience there and the bulk were negative. About it’s crime filled neighborhood one student remarked “Hell, I’m black and I’m scared.”

        • crystalevans

          I know what you mean. Both TSU and Fisk are in Nashville and both have had problems.

          • Luis

            Robert James, a cornerback for the Buffalo Bills in the early 1970’s, came from Fisk.

          • Major

            Not surprised…why would they want to end the “fun” and grow up when they can be pushed into another black warehouse waiting for an opportunity to join their bros in a prison?

    • Cato

      I often think about exactly that point. What if Booker T. Washington had won the argument, and black education had aimed at creating a large skilled working class? More black men would have been subject to the discipline of employment; more black children would have had fathers; and there would have been less incentive for businesses to lobby for massive Mexican immigration.

      • Tom Iron

        Below is an excerpt of a speech (you may know it) delivered by Washinton in 1896 before the Harvard Alumni Association. If he said such a thing today, I’d think there’s good chance he’d be murdered.

        If my life in the past has meant anything in the lifting up of my people and the bringing about of better relations between your race and mine. I assure you from this day it will mean doubly more. In the economy of God there is but one standard by which an individual can succeed–there is but one for a race. This country demands that every race measure itself by the American standard. By it a race must rise or fall, succeed or fail, and in the last analysis mere sentiment counts for little. During the next half century and more, my race must continue passing through the severe American crucible. We are to be tested in our patience, our forbearance, our perseverance, our power to endure wrong, to withstand temptations, to economize, to acquire and use skill; our ability to compete, to succeed in commerce, to disregard the superficial for the real, the appearance for the substance, to be great and yet small, learned and yet simple, high and yet the servant of all. This, this is the passport to all that is best in the life of our republic, and the Negro must possess it, or be debarred.

  • JackKrak

    HBCU’s are (and will continue to be) one of the great unreported scandals in America.

  • Paleoconn

    It’s clear they don’t have enough money. The feds should send more, that solves every problem, just as it did for Head Start. Right? Right?

  • Nate Higgers

    Did anyone here really need to be told that n1ggers being educated by other n1ggers leads to even stupider n1ggers?
    Just saying.

    • a multiracial individual

      Before this guys’ scholarly comment is deleted I wanted to say something about garbage like this. When people talk like this they are essentially spitting on Mr. Taylor’s hard work. Mr. Taylor is trying to build a respectable forum for racial awareness. In my estimation, he has done a very nice job in creating a civil and respectable space for the exchange of ideas. Gentlemen like Mr. Higgers here seem to have a curious desire to tear down the hard work of people at Amren.

  • Nate Higgers

    Without affirmative action, n1ggers would only have about a 3% chance to get admitted into any college at all.

  • The student loan crisis threatens to evolve into the CRA-like collapse of 2008 when enough students default. There was over 4 trillion dollars of CRA mortgages out there in 2008, and only $1 trillion of student loan debt, but if a higher rate of borrowers default then the impact might be the same. If there is a collapse, blacks will be there just as they were in 2008


  • connorhus

    Since I got my BA from an HBCU the various little tricks ,at least the one I attended, participated in are well known to me.

    The one I went to is kinda way out in a more rural setting and at one time was pushed more as it’s own farm school and separate community having originally been pretty isolated. It is now inside a fair sized town but still way out in the Boonies for what your typically city based Black is going to want to attend.

    Because of this the school in reality is a community University NOT an HBCU but the staff travel constantly to Milwaukee, Chicago, St. Louis and promise any teenage Black they can find that might graduate from high school all sorts of scholarships and free housing etc. just to get them on campus.

    While this is going on they charge the local White students outrageous activity fees as they have a local stranglehold on higher education. Anyone who needs to attend classes for their job or whatever can either go to the HBCU or travel 45 miles minimum to another school.

    The recruited Blacks fill the Freshman level courses to capacity and then some but their ranks are already decimated by the Sophomore year, leaving the classes almost entirely White. Yet the few remaining Blacks then get the full reward as they are the only on campus residents and reap all those activity fee dollars. If a Black makes it to the Junior and Senior years they are almost treated as royalty and can (and Will) bring in high dollar Black only speakers, entertainers and activities.

    It’s a complete racket.

    • stewardofthemystery

      Sounds as if you are talking about Lincoln University in JCMO. Am I correct?

    • Michael Mason

      I bet the coursework was pretty damn easy, eh?

      • connorhus

        Not after Freshman year 🙂

        Honestly as I went on to a State University I did not notice the coursework being significantly easier overall at the HBCU, especially once you got away from the big General ed classes. I did notice a bit more leeway in completing projects though as in turning them in late, but on the other hand the State school was less worried about attendance on a daily basis where the HBCU was big on it. Not sure why.

  • OOK-OOK! EEK-EEK! Skreeeee! ( fling poo) Dat beez racist an sheeit! I want sum reparations an sum dat free Obamacash an sheeit! Where beez da social justice in dat? I’ze calling da po-po on my free Obamafone to report you racist crackers!

  • Jefferson

    The average I.Q of a HBCU student is about the same as that of Lil Wayne.

    • little wayne

      Lil Wayne is probably worth 200 million dollars i dont know what your last paycheck was

      • Jefferson

        So you need a high I.Q to be a rapper now ? Do rappers create prosperous 1st world civilizations ? How does the United States prosper from the presence of rappers ?

        I doubt very much that Lil Wayne has a high I.Q because he most likely would have either end up dead at a young age or end up in prison if he had not become a rapper.

        • Justin_Igger

          They do serve some purpose….good target practice.

    • Justin_Igger

      Blacks have on average sub-70 IQs, which by normalized human standards, means they’re pretty much all mentally retarded.

      • StillModerated

        But we encourage a high birth rate amongst them, because they make such wonderful gospel singers, tap dancers, street sweepers, dope pushers and jailbirds.

  • GeneticsareDestiny

    “HBCUs receive direct federal funding to cover their basic operating costs. In fact, HBCUs are a line item in the federal budget.”


  • LHathaway

    At least they are striving to reach ‘equality’. Although equality likely isn’t what they are really after.

  • bigone4u

    The few times I’ve been on an HBCU the students seem to be hangin around, chatting each other up. I guess studying would be too much to axe of them.

  • haroldcrews

    Integration in higher education has killed HBCU’s.

  • christopher mahoney

    A mind is a terrible thing not to have.

  • So let me get this straight. Taxes fund these these places in large part. IF a student graduates it takes too long. They owe a ton of money for a negative return. How is this a good thing for anyone? Sounds like a disfunctional system led by ineptitude fed money they throw away on a bad bet.

  • Fed Up

    Back in the 1980s, the graduating class of Texas Southern University went on a class trip to Tokyo, Japan. Now TSU is a famed Black college in Houston. The day before being due to fly back, these fine, intelligent college students went on a rampage in Tokyo. Entering stores, then grabbing and fleeing with expensive merchandise — such as cameras and electronics, primarily. TSU has also continually been plagued with mismanagement by its officials, including a Black female dean who redecorated her house and grounds, charging the college for the work performed. But let’s be honest. It’s simply typical the Black mentality (psyche) in action.

  • Shattered

    I wonder how many primarily exist to receive taxpayer money in the form of grants and student loans.

  • Major

    “The reason for such poor scores could be many HBCU students often come from low-income backgrounds and are first-generation college attendees.”

    The same ole crap from the same ole whiny, lying clowns. 15 Trillion dollars later…15 TRILLION flushed down the race toilet…ostensibly to raise them out of “poverty”. As if poverty was proven to have an affect on IQ’s?

    Meanwhile they’re one hell of a lot better off than their African counterparts, aren’t they? EBT’s, free phones, free internet, free computers, monthly stipends, child care, health care and on and on and on on your dime.

  • AB7

    Yet if it wasn’t for white racism these schools would be performing right alongside Ivy League schools in all categories. At some point whites will need to take responsibility for the damage they have done to not only blacks but to the whole wide world. All of those highfalutin books that whites have written all full of “theories” and “facts” are nothing more than an entire system of the white “construct” made to keep minorities down. Perhaps all white institutions will need to just be closed, and all their books destroyed, just to bring some equity and fairness back to the world.