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HBCU Facts

What is a Historically Black College or University (HBCU)?
In Title III of the Higher Education Act of 1965, Congress officially defined Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) as degree-granting institutions, accredited and established before 1964, with the principal mission of educating Black Americans. (U.S. Department of Education)

Why were HBCUs created?
The emergence of HBCUs in the mid-to-late 1800s provided Black Americans an opportunity to go beyond a primary and high school education and attend college. Prior to the Civil War (1861-1865), the education of Black Americans was prohibited in most Southern states and often discouraged in Northern states. For decades after the Civil War, legal segregation still prevented African Americans from attending college in the South, and quotas limited the number of Black students that could attend college in the North.

Why are HBCUs still important?
• HBCUs provide consistently outperform non-HBCUs in college experience, affordability, and after college preparedness for Black Americans. (Why Choose an HBCU)
• More students experience upward mobility at HBCUs than at predominately white institutions (PWIs) (Moving Upward and Onward)
• HBCUs outperform non-HBCUs in graduating Black students in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) and other key growth fields. (UNCF Fact Sheet)
• HBCUs build and strengthen communities, states and the country. (HBCUs Make America Strong)

Sticky Notes

HBCU Research Studies

In our role as HBCU research aggregators, we provide college-bound students (and their families) a trustworthy and up-to-date source for HBCU insight. The reports below — published by some of the most reputable research institutions in the country — dig into the influence and impact of the HBCU experience.