Historically Black Colleges in the US


Authored by Sharon Roney in College Education
Published on 10-03-2009

If you are considering a historically black college for your college education, you have many options across the country. Historically black colleges have a higher rate of graduation for black students than colleges that are not affiliated historically with black people. This is true for several reasons.

Much of a successful (both mentally and emotionally) college career is based on building relationships and creating a life around your education. Sometimes black students can feel out of place in a college if they can’t find somewhere to land socially. If the school does not offer activities that are interesting to black students, a student can find themselves lonely, which leads to a transfer or dropping out altogether. Historically black colleges can help a student feel at home and successfully build a support system, which is crucial when classes become especially challenging.

This is a list of the colleges with the best statistics and ratings, though any future college student should compare niche college ratings with overall college ratings to get the clearest picture of how their college ranks nationally.

The main criterion for this list and selection was graduation rate. I read great reviews of some colleges’ show choir and marching bands, but the essential function of a college is to deliver an education and a degree. The graduation rate can be adversely affected by transfers, which can be both a fair or unfair indicator. Most college students change their majors at least once and many have no choice but to change colleges to do so. Many college students also take their general classes at less expensive colleges and transfer to a more prestigious college to earn their final degree. Many college students also transfer because they are unhappy with their college, or drop out due to financial responsibilities. In essence, take the graduation rate and continue your research, don’t let it be the single deciding factor in your choice.

Out of 103 historically black colleges listed on blackcollegesearch.com, these are the colleges with the highest graduation rates. Most of the colleges on this list are in the top 35 on the 2010 U.S. News and World Report list of Best Historically Black Colleges and Universities.


  • Spelman College- 77%
  • Miles College- 72%
  • Claflin University- 68%
  • Fisk University- 64%
  • Howard University- 60%


  • Hampton University- 54%
  • South Carolina State University- 53%
  • North Carolina Central University- 51%
  • Dillard University- 50%
  • Morehouse College- 50%
  • Tougaloo College- 49%
  • Tuskegee University- 48%
  • Xavier University of Louisiana- 48%
  • Elizabeth City State University- 46%
  • Shorter College- 46%
  • Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University- 46%
  • Alcorn State University- 42%

Take these numbers into consideration, but don’t let them be the single reason you mark a school off your list. One of the best ways to choose a college is to visit and do a tour. If they have a program for it, participate in an overnight stay with a student. The college will effectively be your home for four amazing years; get the real picture and make sure it’s worth your investment!

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