Black Colleges and Universities With the Lowest Student Graduation Rates

Last week JBHE listed the black colleges and universities that are having the best success in graduating black students. But there is a reverse side of the coin.

At 24 HBCUs — nearly one half of all HBCUs in our survey — two thirds or more of all entering black students do not go on to earn a diploma. The lowest graduation rate was at the University of the District of Columbia, where only 7 percent of entering freshmen go on to earn a bachelor’s degree. At Texas Southern University in Houston, 14 percent of entering students complete college. Black student graduation rates are below 25 percent at Benedict College, Alabama State University, Virginia Union University, Savannah State University, and LeMoyne-Owen College.

The low graduation rates at black colleges are due to a number of reasons. Many of the students enrolled at these institutions are from low-income families, often ones in which there are few books in the home and where neither parent nor grandparent went to college. In addition, the black colleges on the whole have very small and totally inadequate endowments. They often lack the resources that are needed to generate funds for student financial aid.