A Large Number of the Nation’s Black Colleges and Universities Enroll a Majority of Their Students From Low-Income Families

Most of the nation’s highest-ranked colleges and universities enroll very few students who receive federal Pell Grant awards for low-income students. These scholarship grants are typically reserved for students whose families earn less than $40,000 annually.

Yet at the nation’s historically black colleges and universities, an entirely different story emerges. 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 reveals that there are six HBCUs at which more than 90 percent of all students receive Pell Grants. At Miles College and Paul Quinn College, virtually every enrolled student comes from a low-income family. At Voorhees College, Mississippi Valley State University, Livingstone College, LeMoyne-Owen College, and Morris College, more than 90 percent of the students are from low-income families.

There are only 15 HBCUs at which low-income students are not a majority of all students. Langston University in Oklahoma, at 27.1 percent, has the smallest percentage of low-income students among all the black colleges. At Morehouse College, Spelman College, and Howard University, three selective institutions, less than 40 percent of undergraduate students receive Pell Grants.