Our Time Press

Bet on Black: Top Ten Ranked HBCUs for Early Enrollment Consideration

Howard University

By Maitefa Angaza
As early enrollment opens in a few days, (November 1st) and higher education institutions across the nation tout their bona fides, Our Time Press highlights here the top 10 Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) for consideration. They provide a rich experience grounded in the high value that Black people have always placed on education. They also offer the welcoming and supportive environment particularly important for incoming freshmen.

Howard graduate
Vice President-Elect Kamala Harris,
is first HBCU student elected to
the second highest federal office.


While reviewing several ranking sources, we followed the lead of hbculifestyle.com, which references the annual top-25 list compiled by U.S. News and World Report, which, in turn, used the 2021 Best Colleges metrics. (The complete list features 79 schools, with 77 ranked; all are ranked in comparison with other HBCUs.) The approach is straightforward and comprehensive, citing obvious and less considered factors that students and families might ponder in choosing both optimal educational opportunity and the right fit.
Not indicated on the US News and World Report list are rankings based on access to mentors. Fortunately though, HBCUs have historically been leaders in this regard, actively working to provide students the support that is critical to success. Mentors offer valuable lived experience, give feedback on decision-making and open doors through their connections and other resources.
HBCUs accomplish all they do with substantially lower budgets and lower levels of other types of support, so the benefit of attendance is reciprocal. While Black students can make a big difference when they choose an HBCU, that choice accrues to their benefit. In 2015 the online news site Inside Higher Ed surveyed 50,000 college alumni across the nation to see how they were faring.
“About 55 percent of HBCU graduates said they agreed that
their college or university ‘prepared them well for life outside of college,’ “ the report stated, “compared to less than 30 percent of non-HBCU Black graduates… While 29 percent of Black graduates who did not attend an HBCU said they were ‘thriving in financial well-being,’ 51 percent of Black HBCU graduates reported doing so.”
So it appears that Black college-bound students can cast another important vote just before election day. They can choose to apply for early enrollment into an HBCU.

Students at Morehouse College

Top 10 Ranked HBCUs
Spelman College in Atlanta, Georgia has a 10:1 student-faculty ratio. Psychology, Biology, Political Science, Economics and English Language and Literature are popular subjects and freshman retention rate is 90%. It has a Women’s Research and Resource Center and partners with Clark Atlanta University, Morehouse College and Morehouse School of Medicine. Current year: Total enrollment 2,120; Tuition and Fees $,29,972; Room and Board $14,338. Spelman has a $390.5M endowment. Regular application deadline is February 1st. Famous alumni include novelist, poet and activist author Alice Walker and Dr. Marian Wright Edelman, founder of the Children’s Defense Fund.
Howard University in Washington, D.C. lists Afro-American Studies as a required course, along with English Composition. Among the many majors offered are Chemistry, Civil Engineering, Music Therapy, African Studies, Computer Science, History, Human Performance and many more. Current year: Total enrollment 9,399; Tuition and Fees $,28,440; Room and Board $12,380. Howard has a $692.8M endowment. Regular application deadline is February 19th. Famous alumni include novelist, poet and activist author Alice Walker and Dr. Marian Wright Edelman, founder of the Children’s Defense Fund.

Dillard University

Xavier University of Louisiana in New Orleans has a 15:1 student ratio and 52.8 of its classes are held with fewer than 20 students. offers nine degree programs, among them, Biology, Psychology, Public Health, Management and Business Administration. It also offers several combined-degree programs. Current year: Total undergraduate enrollment 2,530; Tuition and Fees $,25,947; Note: See the website for information as some differs and is broken down in a manner we cannot accommodate spacewise. Xavier has a $199.3M endowment. Regular application deadline is July 1st. Famous alumni include Alexis Herman, former U.S. Secretary of Labor and Regina Benjamin, former U.S. Surgeon General.

Tuskegee University in Tuskegee, Alabama has a 5,000 acre rural campus which has been designated as a National Historic Site. It has a 10:1 student-faculty ratio and the freshman retention rate is 71%. The university is G.I. Bill certified and offers graduate-level courses to qualified undergraduates. Registered Nursing, Mechanical Engineering, Psychology, Biology and Sales, Distribution and Marketing are the five most popular majors. Total enrollment 2876; Tuition and Fees $,22,679; Room and Board $9,844. Tuskegee’s endowment was $126.9 million in 2018. Regular application deadline is rolling. Famous alumni include Ralph Ellison, novelist and scholar and Dr. Betty Shabazz, educator and civil rights advocate.
Hampton University in Hampton, Virginia sits on a 3,714 acre campus near the Chesapeake Bay. Hampton offers 80 undergraduate and graduate programs and more than 100 student-run organizations, as well as performances, concerts and recitals. It’s varsity teams compete in the NCAA and the Eastern Conference. Current year: Total enrollment 4,293; Tuition and Fees $,29,282; Room and Board $12,986. Hampton has a $282.5M endowment. Regular application deadline is March 1st. Famous alumni include Oscar-winning costume designer Ruth E. Carter and iconic muralist John T. Biggers.

Morehouse College in Atlanta, Georgia has a 13:1 student-faculty ratio and 44.8 percent of classes have fewer than 20 students. Popular majors are Business, Biology, Biomedical Studies, Sociology, Political Science, English Language and Literature/Letters and freshman retention rate is 80%. Current year: Total enrollment 2,238; Tuition and Fees $,28,847; Room and Board $14,041. Morehouse’s has a $145M endowment. Regular application deadline is February 15th. Famous alumni include Civil Rights icon Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., and Academy Award-winning filmmaker Spike Lee.

Florida A&M University in the hills of Tallahassee, *On this list it is tied at rank #7 with North Carolina A&M University. Florida has a 10:1 student-faculty ratio. Journalism, Health Professions, and Firefighting are among the majors offered, with the most popular being Psychology, Biology, Political Science, Economics and English Language and Literature. The freshman retention rate is 82%. Current year: Total enrollment 9,626; Tuition and Fees $,5,785 in-state and $17,725; Room and Board $10,986. Florida A&M has a $98.2M endowment. Regular application deadline is May 1st. Famous alumni include tennis champion Althea Gibson and rapper and actor Common.

North Carolina A&T University is located in Greensboro. *On this list it is tied at rank #7 with Florida A&M University. It has a 19:1 student-faculty ratio. Popular majors are Engineering, Communications, Journalism, Parks, Leisure and Fitness Studies and Business. Current year: Total enrollment 12,556; Tuition and Fees $6,657 in-state and $20,167 for out-of-state students; Room and Board $10,986. Florida A&M has a $98.2M endowment. Regular application deadline is June 30th. Famous alumni include Civil Rights activist Jesse Jackson and Taraji P. Henson.

Claflin University in Orangeburg, South Carolina is a private institution established after the Civil War. It has a 13:1 student-faculty ratio and 64.1 percent of classes have fewer than 20 students. Criminal Justice/Safety Studies, Mass Communications/Media Studies. Biology and Business Administration and Management are among the popular majors and the freshman retention rate is 76%. top majors. Current year: Total enrollment Current year: 2,070; Tuition and Fees $,17,192; Room and Board $9,480;. Claflin has a $390.5M endowment. Regular application deadline is August 1st. Famous alumni include fine art illustrator Elton Fax and actor E. Roger Mitchell.

Fisk University in Nashville, Tennessee has advanced-degree collaborations with Vanderbilt University, Howard University and Meharry College wherein undergraduates can take graduate courses. It is tied for 29th Most Innovative Schools on the list of National Liberal Arts Colleges. Political Science and Government, Biology and Biological Sciences and Business Administration and Management are popular majors. Current year: Total enrollment 874;; Tuition and Fees $,22,132; Room and Board $11,022. Fisk has a $20.1M endowment. Regular application deadline is rolling. Famous alumni include Congressman and civil rights activist John Lewis and icon poet and activist writer Nikki Giovanni.

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