HBCU: Conception, Colleges, 2021 Best HBCUs, Fees, Alumni


What is the meaning of HBCU

The acronym HBCU has been popular over a number of years in America. Historical Black Colleges and Universities popularly referred to as HBCU, according to Wikipedia, are institutions of higher education in the United States that were established before the Civil Rights Act of 1964 with the intention of primarily serving the African-American community. Most of these institutions were founded in the years after the American Civil War and are concentrated in the Southern United States.

When racial segregation was more pronounced in the United States prior to the Civil Rights Act, the overwhelming majority of higher education institutions were predominantly white and completely disqualified or limited African-American enrollment.

For more than seven decades after the end of slavery in the United States in 1865, most colleges and universities in the Southern United States prohibited all African Americans from attending, while institutions in other parts of the country regularly employed quotas to limit admissions of blacks. HBCUs were established to give opportunities to African Americans especially in the South.

There are 101 HBCUs in the United States (of 121 institutions that existed during the 1930s), representing three percent of the nation’s colleges and universities, including both public and private institutions. Of these remaining HBCU institutions in the United States, 27 offer doctoral programs, 52 offer master’s programs, 83 offer bachelor’s degree programs, and 38 offer associate degrees. Among the graduates of HBCUs are civil rights leader Martin Luther King, Jr., United States Vice President Kamala Harris, and former president of Brown University Ruth Simmons.

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Alabama A&M UniversityPublic, 4 YearNormal, AL
Alabama State UniversityPublic, 4 YearMontgomery, AL
Bishop State Community CollegePublic, 2 YearMobile, AL
Concordia College (Alabama)Private, 4 YearSelma, AL
Gadsden State Community CollegePublic, 2 YearGadsden, AL
Miles CollegePrivate, 4 YearFairfield, AL
Oakwood UniversityPrivate, 4 YearHuntsville, AL
Selma UniversityPrivate, 4 YearSelma, AL
Shelton State Community CollegePublic, 2 YearTuscaloosa, AL
Stillman CollegePrivate, 4 YearTuscaloosa, AL
Talladega CollegePrivate, 4 YearTalladega, AL
Tuskegee UniversityPrivate, 4 YearTuskegee, AL


University of Arkansas at Pine BluffPublic, 4 YearPine Bluff, AK
Arkansas Baptist CollegePrivate, 4 YearLittle Rock, AK
Philander Smith CollegePrivate, 4 YearLittle Rock, AK
Shorter CollegePrivate, 2 YearLittle Rock, AK


Charles R. Drew University of Medicine and SciencePrivate, 4 YearLos Angeles, CA


Delaware State UniversityPublic, 4 YearDover, DE


Howard UniversityPrivate, 4 YearWashington, D.C.
Howard University College of MedicinePrivate, 4 YearWashington, D.C.
Howard University School of LawPrivate, 4 YearWashington, D.C.
University of the District of ColumbiaPublic, 4 YearWashington, D.C.


Bethune-Cookman UniversityPrivate, 4 YearDaytona Beach, FL
Edward Waters CollegePrivate, 4 YearJacksonville, FL
Florida A&M UniversityPublic, 4 YearTallahassee, FL
Florida A&M University College of LawPublic, 4 YearOrlando, FL
Florida Memorial UniversityPrivate, 4 YearMiami Gardens, FL


Albany State UniversityPublic, 4 YearAlbany, GA
Fort Valley State UniversityPublic, 4 YearFort Valley, GA
Savannah State UniversityPublic, 4 YearSavannah, GA
Clark Atlanta UniversityPrivate, 4 YearAtlanta, GA
Interdenominational Theological CenterPrivate, 4 YearAtlanta, GA
Morehouse CollegePrivate, 4 YearAtlanta, GA
Morehouse School of MedicinePrivate, 4 YearAtlanta, GA
Morris Brown CollegePrivate, 4 YearAtlanta, GA
Paine CollegePrivate, 4 YearAtlanta, GA
Spelman CollegePrivate, 4 YearAtlanta, GA


Kentucky State UniversityPublic, 4 YearFrankfort, KY
Simmons CollegePrivate, 4 YearLouisville, KY


Grambling State UniversityPublic, 4 YearGrambling, LA
Southern University and A&M CollegePublic, 4 YearBaton Rouge, LA
Southern University Law CenterPublic, 4 YearBaton Rouge, LA
Southern University at New OrleansPublic, 4 YearNew Orleans, LA
Southern University at ShreveportPublic, 2 YearShreveport, LA
Dillard UniversityPrivate, 4 YearShreveport, LA
Xavier University of LouisianaPrivate, 4 YearNew Orleans, LA


Bowie State UniversityPublic, 4 YearBowie, MD
Coppin State UniversityPublic, 4 YearBaltimore, MD
Morgan State UniversityPublic, 4 YearBaltimore, MD
University of Maryland Eastern ShorePublic, 4 YearPrincess Anne, MD


Alcorn State UniversityPublic, 4 YearLorman, MS
Jackson State UniversityPublic, 4 YearJackson, MS
Mississippi Valley State UniversityPublic, 4 YearItta Bena, MS
Coahoma Community CollegePublic, 2 YearClarksdale, MS
Hinds Community College-UticaPublic, 2 YearUtica, MS
Rust CollegePrivate, 4 YearHolly Springs, MS
Tougaloo CollegePrivate, 4 YearTougaloo, MS


Harris-Stowe State UniversityPublic, 4 YearSt. Louis, MO
Lincoln University of MissouriPublic, 4 YearJefferson City, MO


Elizabeth City State UniversityPublic, 4 YearElizabeth City, NC
Fayetteville State UniversityPublic, 4 YearFayetteville, NC
North Carolina A&T State UniversityPublic, 4 YearGreensboro, NC
North Carolina Central UniversityPublic, 4 YearDurham, NC
North Carolina Central University School of LawPublic, 4 YearDurham, NC
Winston-Salem State UniversityPublic, 4 YearWinston-Salem, NC
Barber-Scotia CollegePrivate, 4 YearConcord, NC
Bennett CollegePrivate, 4 YearGreensboro, NC
Johnson C. Smith UniversityPrivate, 4 YearCharlotte, NC
Livingstone CollegePrivate, 4 YearSalisbury, NC
St. Augustine’s CollegePrivate, 4 YearRaleigh, NC
Shaw UniversityPrivate, 4 YearRaleigh, NC


Central State UniversityPublic, 4 YearWilberforce, OH
Wilberforce UniversityPrivate, 4 YearWilberforce, OH


Langston UniversityPublic, 4 YearLangston, OK


Cheyney University of PennsylvaniaPublic, 4 YearCheyney, PA
Lincoln UniversityPublic, 4 YearLincoln University, PA


South Carolina State UniversityPublic, 4 YearOrangeburg, SC
Denmark Technical CollegePublic, 2 YearDenmark, SC
Allen UniversityPrivate, 4 YearColumbia, SC
Benedict CollegePrivate, 4 YearColumbia, SC
Claflin UniversityPrivate, 4 YearOrangeburg, SC
Morris CollegePrivate, 4 YearSumter, SC
Voorhees CollegePrivate, 4 YearDenmark, SC
Clinton Junior CollegePrivate, 2 YearRock Hill, SC


Tennessee State UniversityPublic, 4 YearNashville, TN
American Baptist CollegePrivate, 4 YearNashville, TN
Fisk UniversityPrivate, 4 YearNashville, TN
Knoxville CollegePrivate, 4 YearKnoxville, TN
Lane CollegePrivate, 4 YearJackson, TN
LeMoyne-Owen CollegePrivate, 4 YearMemphis, TN
Meharry Medical CollegePrivate, 4 YearNashville, TN


Prairie View A&M UniversityPublic, 4 YearPrairie View, TX
Texas Southern UniversityPublic, 4 YearHouston, TX
Texas Southern University –
Thurgood Marshall School of Law
Public, 4 YearHouston, TX
St. Philip’s CollegePublic, 2 YearSan Antonio, TX
Huston-Tillotson UniversityPrivate, 4 YearAustin, TX
Jarvis Christian CollegePrivate, 4 YearHawkins, TX
Paul Quinn CollegePrivate, 4 YearDallas, TX
Southwestern Christian CollegePrivate, 4 YearTerrell, TX
Texas CollegePrivate, 4 YearTyler, TX
Wiley CollegePrivate, 4 YearMarshall, TX


Norfolk State UniversityPublic, 4 YearNorfolk, VA
Virginia State UniversityPublic, 4 YearPetersburg, VA
Hampton UniversityPrivate, 4 YearHampton, VA
Virginia Union UniversityPrivate, 4 YearRichmond, VA
Virginia University of LynchburgPrivate, 4 YearLynchburg, VA


Bluefield State CollegePublic, 4 YearBluefield, WV
West Virginia State UniversityPublic, 4 YearInstitute, WV


University of the Virgin Islands (St. Thomas Campus)Public, 4 YearSt. Thomas, V.I.
University of the Virgin Islands (Albert A. Sheen Campus, St. Croix)Public, 4 YearKingshill, V.I.

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2021 Best HBCUs

According to USNEWS, these are the list of the best HBCUs of 2021. The List includes;

#1. Spelman College

350 Spelman Lane SW, Atlanta, GA 30314 | (404) 681-3643. Spelman College is a private institution that was founded in 1881. It has a total undergraduate enrollment of 2,120, its setting is urban, and the campus size is 39 acres. It utilizes a semester-based academic calendar.

Spelman College’s ranking in the 2021 edition of Best Colleges is National Liberal Arts Colleges, #54. Its tuition and fees are $29,972. Founded in 1881 as the Atlanta Baptist Female Seminary, Spelman College is the oldest historically black college for women in America. Located just five minutes outside of downtown Atlanta, Spelman is part of the Atlanta University Center Consortium, the largest association of historically black institutions of higher learning in the world. First- and second-year students are required to live on campus.

There are more than 60 organizations for students to choose from, including Greek life, which constitutes the largest group of students on campus. Spelman College does not compete in intercollegiate athletics; instead, it offers a wellness program for all students.

As part of the Atlanta University Center Consortium, Spelman partners with Clark Atlanta UniversityMorehouse College and Morehouse School of Medicine. The consortium is a nonprofit organization whose mission is to provide quality education for African-Americans and other students of diversity.

Spelman’s Women’s Research and Resource Center is the first of its kind on a black college campus devoted to a women’s studies curriculum. Stepping, which is a series of movements involving beats, rhythms, calls and chants, is performed by the Greek organizations on campus, and step shows are a popular occurrence among the Atlanta University Center colleges. Notable alumni of Spelman include Audrey F. Manley, the former surgeon general of the United States, and Maj. Gen. Marcelite J. Harris, the first African-American female general of the U.S. Air Force. Alice Walker, author of “The Color Purple,” attended Spelman College as well.

#2. Howard University

2400 Sixth Street NW, Washington, DC 20059 | (202) 806-6100.

Howard University is a private institution that was founded in 1867. It has a total undergraduate enrollment of 6,526, its setting is urban, and the campus size is 257 acres. It utilizes a semester-based academic calendar. Howard University’s ranking in the 2021 edition of Best Colleges is National Universities, #80. Its tuition and fees are $28,440.

At Howard University, a historically black college in the heart of the District of Columbia, all undergraduate students complete a universitywide core curriculum. Required courses include those in English composition and Afro-American studies. Students then have dozens of majors to choose from, including Afro-American studies, French and music therapy. Outside of class, Howard students may choose to get involved in one of the school’s many student organizations, including fraternities and sororities and academic clubs.

The university has its own stop on the city’s public transportation system, the Metro, and students are also permitted to bring cars to school. Freshmen, however, are not eligible for campus parking. The school offers a range of male, female and coed housing, both on and off campus.

Howard University has many graduate programs as well, including those in the School of BusinessSchool of LawCollege of Medicine and College of Engineering, Architecture and Computer Sciences. Notable alumni of Howard University include former U.S. Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall, Pulitzer Prize-winning author Toni Morrison and Emmy Award-winning actress Phylicia Rashad.

#3. Xavier University of Louisiana

1 Drexel Drive, New Orleans, LA 70125 | (504) 486-7411.. Xavier University of Louisiana is a private institution that was founded in 1915. It has a total undergraduate enrollment of 2,530, its setting is urban, and the campus size is 63 acres. It utilizes a semester-based academic calendar. Xavier University of Louisiana’s ranking in the 2021 edition of Best Colleges is Regional Universities South, #16. Its tuition and fees are $25,947.

Influential HBCUs Alumni in the World

  • TONI BRAXTON – Bowie State University – Award-Winning Singer-Songwriter
  • REV. JESSE JACKSON – North Carolina A&T State University – Civil Rights Activist
  • DAVID DINKINS – Howard University – 1st African-American Mayor of New York City
  • PAM OLIVER – Florida A&M University – FOX Sportscaster and Journalist
  • SPIKE LEE – Morehouse College – Award-Winning Film Director, Producer, Writer, and Actor
  • SIMONE MISSICK – Howard University – Film and Television Actress (famous for role in Luke Cage)
  • MARQUETTE KING JR. – Fort Valley State University – NFL Punter for the Oakland Raiders
  • KESHIA KNIGHT PULLIAM – Spelman College – Film and Television Actress
  • DR. DEBORAH A. COLE – Tennessee State University – President of Citizens Bank in Nashville, Tennessee
  • KASIM REED – Howard University – Mayor of Atlanta, Georgia
  • YOLONDA ADAMS – Texas Southern University – Award Winning Gospel Singer
  • JOHN W. THOMPSON – Florida A&M University – 1st African-American Chairman of Microsoft Corporation
  • WILMA RUDOLPH – Tennessee State University – World-Record-Holding Olympic Track and Field Champion
  • DMITRI STOCKTON – North Carolina A&T State University – Chairman, President and CEO of GE Asset Management
  • SYLVIA TRENT ADAMS – Hampton University – Current Acting Surgeon General of the United States
  • BOB HAYES – Florida A&M University – 1st and Only Athlete to Win an Olympic Gold Medal and a Super Bowl
  • LIONEL RICHIE – Tuskegee University – Award-Winning Singer, Songwriter, and Actor

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