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    Things to know
    about HBCUs

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 accredited, degree-granting institutions established before 1964, with the principal mission of educating Black Americans. (U.S. Department of Education)

Why were HBCUs created?
Prior to the creation of HBCUs, there was no structured higher education system for Black students. The education of Black Americans was prohibited in most Southern states and often discouraged in Northern states.
The emergence of HBCUs in the mid-to-late 1800s provided Black Americans the most basic of human rights — access to a full education. For decades after the Civil War (1861-1865) and the creation of HBCUs, legal segregation still prevented Black Americans from attending college in the South, and quotas limited the number of Black students that could attend college in the North — making HBCUs the only education option for many Black Americans.

Why are HBCUs still relevant?
HBCUs offer Black youth and talent-seeking organizations a 180+ year track record of success. Additionally, much of America's culture and socioeconomic movements are driven by —and a product of — Historically Black Colleges and Universities.
  • Performance
      HBCUs consistently outperform non-HBCUs in student experience, affordability, and after college preparedness for Black Americans. (Why Choose an HBCU, 2019)
  • Social Impact
      More students experience upward (income) mobility at HBCUs than at predominately white institutions (PWIs) thus reducing some social inequities. (Nathenson, Samayoa, & Gasman, 2019)
  • Economic Impact
  • Sticky Notes

    HBCU Research Studies

    HBCU research studies provide students (and their families), practitioners, and workforce leaders 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.

    *We strive for accuracy and fairness, so if you see something that doesn't look right, , thank you.

    HBCU First is a student-led community advancing the wellbeing and economic participation of America’s Black youth.

    View a 180+ year history of America's HBCUs.