Black Colleges With the Highest Graduation Rates for African Americans

The graduation rate of African-American students at the nation’s historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs) tends to be much lower than the graduation rate for black students at the nation’s highest-ranked institutions. However, the graduation rate at a significant number of HBCUs is well above the nationwide average for black student graduations, which currently stands at an extremely low rate of 45 percent. By a large margin, the highest black student graduation rate at a historically black college belongs to Spelman College, the academically selective, all-women’s school in the city of Atlanta. In fact, Spelman’s black student graduation rate of 79 percent is equal to or higher than the black student graduation rate at several of the nation’s high-ranking predominantly white colleges and universities including Colby, Berkeley, UCLA, Michigan, Bowdoin, and Chapel Hill.

Following Spelman in the rankings, the next-highest black student graduation rate among the HBCUs was at Howard University. At Howard, 64 percent of the entering black students go on to graduate within six years. Morehouse College in Atlanta ranked third with a black student graduation rate of 60 percent. Claflin University in South Carolina, Hampton University in Virginia, and Elizabeth City State University in North Carolina, sadly, are the only other HBCUs that graduate at least half of their black students within six years.