It Is the Black Colleges That Are Enrolling All the Students From Low-Income Families

As we have shown in recent editions of the JBHE Weekly Bulletin, most of the nation’s highest-ranked colleges and universities enroll very few low-income students who receive federal Pell Grant awards.

But at the nation’s historically black colleges and universities, an entirely different story emerges. In fact, at a majority of black colleges, two thirds or more of all enrolled students receive federal Pell Grants.

The latest data from the Department of Education shows that for the 2004-05 academic year there are 10 HBCUs at which more than 90 percent of all students receive Pell Grants. At five black colleges virtually every student who enrolls comes from a low-income family. These five colleges where almost all enrolled students are from low-income families are Edward Waters College, Stillman College, Voorhees College, Morris College, and Benedict College.

There are only 13 HBCUs at which low-income students are not a majority of all students. Hampton University in Virginia has the smallest percentage of low-income students than any black college at 32.4 percent. At Morehouse College, less than one third of the students receive Pell Grants. There are only four other HBCUs at which low-income students make up less than 40 percent of the total enrollments. They are Bowie State University, the University of the District of Columbia, Spelman College, and Howard University.