During the 2019-2020 academic year, 279,157 students were enrolled in HBCUs across the United States.
Black students accounted for 76% of all HBCU students in 2020.Note Reference 
As of 2017, Black HBCU students had a six-year graduation rate of 32.1%.
The average total cost of attending an HBCU in 2020-2021 ranged from $26,138-$29,990.
Undergraduate HBCU students were awarded an average of $9,738 in grant aid in 2020-2021.Note Reference 
More than 81% of undergraduate HBCU students were awarded federal, state, local, or institutional grant aid during the 2020-2021 academic year.Note Reference 
Historically Black colleges and universities (HBCUs) opened the path to higher education for Black students more than 150 years ago. Now, they enroll just under one-tenth of all Black college students and are a major driver of their socioeconomic mobility.
This report explores how many students enroll in and graduate from these institutions. It also examines how HBCUs are funded and what kinds of financial assistance students are offered to attend them.
List of HBCUs
As of 2021, there were 102 HBCUs in 19 states, the District of Columbia, and the Virgin Islands, according to the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES).Note Reference  Nearly every state with an HBCU is in the South or Southeast. Fifty-two are public institutions, and 50 are private institutions.
- Alabama A&M University
- Alabama State University
- Bishop State Community College
- Gadsden State Community College
- H. Councill Trenholm State Community College
- J. F. Drake State Community and Technical College
- Lawson State Community College
- Miles College
- Oakwood University
- Selma University
- Shelton State Community College
- Stillman College
- Talladega College
- Tuskegee University
- Arkansas Baptist College
- Philander Smith College
- Shorter College
- University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff
- Delaware State University
District of Columbia
- Howard University
- University of the District of Columbia
- University of the District of Columbia School of Law
- Bethune-Cookman University
- Edward Waters College
- Florida A&M University
- Florida Memorial University
- Albany State University
- Clark Atlanta University
- Fort Valley State University
- Interdenominational Theological Center
- Morehouse College
- Morehouse School of Medicine
- Paine College
- Savannah State University
- Spelman College
- Kentucky State University
- Simmons College of Kentucky
- Dillard University
- Grambling State University
- Southern University and A&M College
- Southern University at New Orleans
- Southern University at Shreveport
- Southern University Law Center
- Xavier University of Louisiana
- Bowie State University
- Coppin State University
- Morgan State University
- University of Maryland, Eastern Shore
- Alcorn State University
- Coahoma Community ZCollege
- Jackson State University
- Mississippi Valley State University
- Rust College
- Tougaloo College
- Harris-Stowe State University
- Lincoln University
- Bennett College
- Elizabeth City State University
- Fayetteville State University
- Johnson C. Smith University
- Livingstone College
- North Carolina A&T State University
- North Carolina Central University
- Shaw University
- Winston-Salem State University
- Central State University
- Wilberforce University
- Cheyney University of Pennsylvania
- Lincoln University
- Allen University
- Benedict College
- Claflin University
- Clinton College
- Denmark Technical College
- Morris College
- South Carolina State University
- Voorhees College
- American Baptist College
- Fisk University
- Lane College
- LeMoyne-Owen College
- Meharry Medical College
- Tennessee State University
- Huston-Tillotson University
- Jarvis Christian College
- Paul Quinn College
- Prairie View A&M University
- Saint Philip’s College
- Southwestern Christian College
- Texas College
- Texas Southern University
- Wiley College
- Hampton University
- Norfolk State University
- Virginia State University
- Virginia Union University
- Virginia University of Lynchburg
- Bluefield State College
- West Virginia State University
- University of the Virgin Islands
In 2019-2020, 279,157 students were enrolled in HBCUs.Note Reference  Between 1976 and 2020, enrollment at HBCUs increased by more than 25%.Note Reference 
- HBCU enrollment peaked in 2010, with 326,614 students enrolled.
- From 1976-2010, enrollment increased by about 47%. But between 2010 and 2020, it decreased by almost 15%.
- In 2020, HBCU enrollment was at the lowest point it had been in the last 10 years, dropping to 279,157 students.
- Despite dropping in 2020, undergraduate enrollment at HBCUs increased by 0.8% between fall 2020 and fall 2022.
Black Student Enrollment
Though HBCUs previously served as the only option for Black students to receive a college education, they now serve as one of many. For the last 10 years, about 9% of all Black college students were enrolled at an HBCU.Note Reference , 
As of 2020, Black students accounted for 76% of all enrolled HBCU students. Over the last 10 years, the percentage of Black HBCU students has decreased by five percentage points while the percentage of non-Black HBCU students has increased by five percentage points.Note Reference 
- Black student enrollment at HBCUs peaked in 2010 when 265,908 Black students were enrolled. They accounted for over 81% of the student population that year.
- Non-Black enrollment at HBCUs peaked in 2017 when 71,287 non-Black students were enrolled. They accounted for nearly 24% of the student population that year.
Enrollment by Sex
Female enrollment at HBCUs has surpassed male enrollment every year since 1976. As of 2020, female students accounted for 64% of HBCU learners.Note Reference 
- Over the last 10 years, female enrollment was at its highest in 2010 and its lowest in 2016.
- During the last 10 years, male enrollment peaked in 2010, and dropped to its lowest in 2020.
- Male enrollment in 2020 was the lowest it’s been since 1986.
The NCES does not include information about nonbinary or transgender student enrollment.
Enrollment by Institution Type
Private four-year institutions account for the majority of HBCUs, but public four-year schools enroll the largest number of students.Note Reference 
- Since 1976, HBCU students enrolled at public four-year institutions accounted for approximately 65% of all HBCU students.
- During the same period, HBCU students enrolled at private four-year institutions accounted for about 25% of all HBCU students.
- Enrollment at public and private two-year institutions has historically accounted for about one-tenth of all HBCU enrollment.
HBCU Graduation Rates
Graduation rates among HBCU students are not as clearly reported as general graduation rates for all students regardless of institution type. But during the 2019-2020 academic year, 48,211 degrees were conferred to HBCU students. They accounted for 2% of all degrees conferred to undergraduate students in the U.S. during the year.
According to a 2017 Education Trust survey and data from NCES, Black students who attend HBCUs have an average six-year graduation rate of 32.1%.Note Reference  By comparison, as of 2021, Black students at non-HBCUs had a six-year graduation rate of 44.3%.
Based on the survey, at institutions where 40-75% of first-year students are low-income, Black HBCU students have slightly higher graduation rates than Black students attending non-HBCUs.Note Reference 
- The average graduation rate for Black HBCU students was 38% as of 2017.
- The average graduation rate for Black non-HBCU students was 32%.
Some HBCUs report their graduation rates on their websites. As of 2022:
- Spelman College had an average six-year graduation rate of 76%.
- Howard University had an average four-year graduation rate of 59% and an average six-year graduation rate of 70%.
- Hampton University had an average six-year graduation rate of 57%, based on students who enrolled in 2015.
- Morehouse College maintains an average six-year graduation rate of 54%.
Cost of Attendance at HBCUs
During the 2021-2022 academic year, the average total cost of attendance for on-campus students at HBCUs ranged from $26,138-$29,990.Note Reference 
- Average tuition and fees were $11,391 for in-district students and $15,262 for out-of-state students.
- Average costs for books and other supplies were $1,425.
- Average campus room and board costs were $9,180.
Financial Aid at HBCUs
A BestColleges analysis of data obtained from the Department of Education’s data system found that during the 2020-2021 academic year, the total amount of grant aid awarded to HBCU students at 102 institutions was $1.88 billion.Note Reference 
- On average, 82% of undergraduate HBCU students were awarded federal, state, local, or institutional grant aid during the 2020-2021 academic year.
- The average amount of grant aid awarded to undergraduate HBCU students was $9,738.
- During the same year, 61% of undergraduate HBCU students were awarded Pell Grants.
- The average amount of Pell Grant aid awarded to students in 2020-2021 was $5,118.
- 57% of undergraduate HBCU students were awarded federal student loans.
- The average federal student loan amount awarded to undergraduate HBCU students was $6,598.
Like all other institutions, government funding is an essential part of HBCUs’ revenue. But HBCUs rely on funding more so than other institutions. In 2020, funds from federal, state, and local governments accounted for 52% of HBCUs’ total $9 billion revenue.Note Reference  By comparison, government funding in 2020 only accounted for about 14% of all institutions’ revenue.
- In 2020, funds from federal, state, and local governments were 64% of public HBCUs’ total revenue.Note Reference 
- At private HBCUs where revenue tends to be driven by tuition and fees rather than funding, government funds still made up 30% of total revenue.Note Reference 
Under federal law, 18 HBCUs are considered land-grant institutions. This status entitles them to receive the same funding per student as all other land-grant institutions. However, according to a 2022 Forbes analysis, at least 16 land-grant HBCUs have been underfunded by a total of $12.8 billion since 1987.
In March 2022, the Biden Administration announced a state-by-state breakdown of funding that would be awarded to HBCUs under the American Rescue Plan. Under the plan, HBCUs received more than $2.7 billion in federal funding.
Frequently Asked Questions About HBCUs
How many HBCUs are there in the United States?
As of December 2021, the Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System lists 102 HBCUs in 19 states, the District of Columbia, and the Virgin Islands.Note Reference 
Do non-Black students attend HBCUs?
Yes, non-Black students can and do attend HBCUs. In 2020, non-Black students accounted for 24% of all students enrolled at HBCUs.Note Reference 
What is the total cost of attending an HBCU?
As of the 2021-2022 academic year, the average total cost of attending an HBCU was $26,138 to $29,990 for on-campus students.Note Reference  Tuition and fees make up the majority of that cost, ranging from $11,391 for in-district students to $15,262 for out-of-state students.Note Reference 
Do HBCUs offer financial aid like scholarships and grants?
Yes, just like predominately white institutions, HBCUs offer both need-based and merit-based financial aid in the form of scholarships, grants, and federal loans. During the 2021-2022 academic year, the total amount of grant aid awarded to HBCU students was nearly $2 billion.Note Reference