An HBCU, according to the Higher Education Act is any historically black college or university that was created before 1964 and whose purpose was and is to educate Black Americans.
What We Know:
- These universities that were ranked require undergraduate students to obtain a bachelor’s degree. They are also primarily first-year and first-time students. These universities must also be apart of 2020 Best Colleges rankings.
- An HBCU can be eligible to be included on the list but of the 80 that is listed only 76 will be ranked, and four will be unranked. Those that are unranked in the 2020 Best College rankings will also be unranked in the HBCU rankings as well.
- For these universities to capture academic quality they have to have into these six categories outcome measures, assessment by administrators at peer HBCUs, faculty resources, financial resources, student excellence, and alumni giving.
- At the top of the list is Spelman College, located in Atlanta, Georgia. Spelman is a private institution that was founded in 1881 as the Atlanta Baptist Female Seminary. Behind Spelman is Howard University. Florida A&M landed in the number 7 spot nationally placed behind North Carolina A&T State University. This happens to be the second year in a row where Florida A&M has been put behind North Carolina A&T State University.
- Spelman is part of the Atlanta University Center Consortium, the largest association of historically black institutions of higher learning in the world. This means Spelman partners with Clark Atlanta University, Morehouse College, and Morehouse School of Medicine. Notable alumni of Spelman include Audrey F. Manley, the former surgeon general of the United States, and Alice Walker, author of “The Color Purple.”
While historically black colleges and universities account for just 3% of all higher education offerings, they have a huge impact on the success of black students and the workforce.