Enrollments at Black Colleges on the Rise

According to the Department of Education, enrollments at the nation’s historically black colleges and universities continue to climb. In 2003, the latest year for which complete data is available, there were 306,727 students enrolled at 99 black colleges and universities in the United States. This is up from total enrollments of 257,152 students in 1990, an increase of 19 percent. This comes on the heels of a 10 percent enrollment increase during the 1980s.

In 2003 African Americans made up 82.6 percent of the total enrollments at the nation’s black colleges. In 1980 blacks were 81.8 percent of all enrollments at these institutions. In 1990 blacks made up 81.2 percent of all enrollments at the black colleges. It is important to note that included among these colleges are institutions such as West Virginia State University and Bluefield State College which were founded as black colleges but now are predominantly white.

So, contrary to generally accepted beliefs, the black colleges are not becoming whiter. In fact, the black colleges have slightly higher percentages of black students than they did 10 or 20 years ago.