HBCUs have played a critical role in higher education for Black students over the past 150+ years. Many historically Black colleges were founded after the Civil War to educate formerly enslaved people and their children. Others were created under the second Morrill Act of 1890 requiring states with segregated public higher education to offer land-grant colleges for African Americans.
Today, HBCUs continue to be a cornerstone of education for a diverse student population. Historically Black colleges are significant drivers of economic mobility for their students, and in some cases offer a higher payoff for Black students than predominantly white institutions. HBCUs are also better equipped to support Black students as they navigate unique barriers in higher education.
The benefits of attending an HBCU, alongside factors such as the racial justice movement and higher profile visibility in recent years, have led to enrollment increases for many HBCUs in the 2021-22 school year.
Alabama is the state with the most HBCUs, with 14 historically Black colleges, including eight universities and six community colleges. North Carolina is second with 10 HBCUs, all of which are four-year universities. Georgia and Texas each have nine HBCUs, with a mix of graduate schools, community colleges, and four-year schools.
How many historically Black colleges and universities are there in the United States?
There are currently 102 open colleges recognized by the U.S. Department of Education as HBCUs. These research universities, liberal arts colleges, graduate schools, and community colleges can be found in 19 different states across the country. This figure does not include colleges that are closed, not currently accredited, or not recognized by the U.S. Department of Education as HBCUs.
Additional Historically Black colleges not accounted for in this list:
Hinds Community College - Utica Campus
Utica College, founded in 1903, merged with Hinds Community College in 1982 but remains an HBCU.
Morris Brown College
Morris Brown College regained accreditation ahead of the 2021-22 school year.