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Spotlight on HBCUs and HSIs

HBCUs and HSIs

Historically Black Colleges & Universities (HBCUs) and Hispanic Serving Institutions (HSIs) for Military and Veterans

Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) and Hispanic Serving Institutions (HSIs) are cornerstones of postsecondary, higher education.

HBCUs are schools that were established prior to 1964 with the principal mission of providing access to higher education and educating Black Americans during a time of legal segregation. HSIs came about in the 1980s to recognize institutions that enroll a large number of Latinx students. HBCUs and HSIs accept students of all races and ethnicities and there is a particular focus on commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion.

HBCU – Historically Black Colleges and Universities

It should be no surprise that even after the official end of slavery in 1865 most colleges and universities in the Southern United States prohibited all African Americans from attending. Meanwhile, many other colleges and universities throughout the country employed tactics to limit admissions of Black Americans. These blatant racist and exclusionary tactics continued ad nauseum until the Civil Rights Act of 1964.

Historically Black Colleges and Universities are institutions of higher education in the United States that were established before the Civil Rights Act of 1964 with the intention of primarily serving students of African American descent.

Currently, HBCUs have approximately 300,000 students across 101 HBCUs in 19 states (including the District of Columbia, and the U.S. Virgin Islands). Of the 101 HBCUs, 52 are public institutions and 49 were private nonprofit institutions.

Why is an HBCU designation important?

Why is an HBCU designation important? In addition to the history of the institution, HBCUs display an immersive culture of diversity, inclusion, and supporting marginalized students. In addition, schools with an HBCU designation are eligible to receive additional funding including substantial grants from several organizations including:

  • National Science Foundation
  • National Institutes of Health
  • Department of Education
  • Department of Justice
  • Department of Health and Human Services
  • National Aeronautics and Space Administration
  • National Endowment for the Humanities

HSI – Hispanic Serving Institutions

Hispanic Serving Institutions came about as a grassroots organization in the 1980s to identify institutions that were accepting a large number of Latinx students. Since Latinx students are and continues to be a rapidly growing demographic in the U.S., it is important that institutes of higher education support and reflect this population growth.

Most recent statistics indicate that there are 411 HSIs in the US (including 24 states and Puerto Rico). There are approximately 1.9 million Latinx students at HSIs, and 4.1 million students total enrolled at HSIs.

In order to receive an HSI designation, an institution’s undergraduate enrollment must be at least 25 percent Hispanic and demonstrate a high concentration of students who are low income or otherwise need based.

Why is an HSI designation important?

Why is an HSI designation important? In addition to an immersive culture of diversity, inclusion, and supporting marginalized students; schools with an HSI designation are eligible to receive additional funding including substantial grants from several organizations including the National Science Foundation (NSF) and the National Institutes of Health (NIH).


Is There Really a Need for HBCUs and HSIs?

Unfortunately, admission practices can still be found in post-secondary education that purposefully seek to exclude and omit students based on any variety of factors that they deem “undesirable”. From gender to race to socioeconomic backgrounds, post-secondary education admissions are not always as enlightened as one would expect from an institute of higher learning. Thankfully, these unbalanced lapses in admissions are fewer and further than in generations prior. Yet, they still exist.

You may recall recent news of philanthropist Mackenzie Scott’s staggering $800 million donation to higher education. Specifically these funds were earmarked to HBCUs, HSIs, and Tribal colleges and universities (serving Native Americans).

Yes, there is still a need for HBCUs and HSIs to help “balance the scales” in higher education. HBCUs and HSIs accept students of all races and ethnicities. Yet, HBCUs and HSIs are particularly attuned to the needs of diversity, equity, and inclusion and strive to leave no student marginalized.

Accredited HBCU listing

Not-for-profit schools are indicated with NFP.

NFP = Not-for-profit


Alabama HBCU’s

Alabama A & M University4-year, Public
Alabama State University4-year, Public
Bishop State Community College2-year, Public
Gadsden State Community College2-year, Public
H Councill Trenholm State Community College2-year, Public
J. F. Drake State Community & Technical College2-year, Public
Lawson State Community College2-year, Public
Miles College4-year, Private NFP
Oakwood University4-year, Private NFP
Shelton State Community College2-year, Public
Stillman College4-year, Private NFP
Talladega College4-year, Private NFP
Tuskegee University4-year, Private NFP

Arkansas HBCU’s

Arkansas Baptist College4-year, Private NFP
Philander Smith College4-year, Private NFP
Shorter College2-year, Private NFP
University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff4-year, Public


Delaware HBCU

Delaware State University4-year, Public


District of Columbia HBCU’s

Howard University4-year, Private NFP
University of the District of Columbia4-year, Public
University of DC -David A Clarke School of Law4-year, Public


Florida HBCU’s

Bethune-Cookman University4-year, Private NFP
Edward Waters College4-year, Private NFP
Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University4-year, Public
Florida Memorial University4-year, Private NFP


Georgia HBCU’s

Albany State University4-year, Public
Clark Atlanta University4-year, Private NFP
Fort Valley State University4-year, Public
Interdenominational Theological Center4-year, Private NFP
Morehouse College4-year, Private NFP
Morehouse School of Medicine4-year, Private NFP
Paine College4-year, Private NFP
Savannah State University4-year, Public
Spelman College4-year, Private NFP


Kentucky HBCU’s

Kentucky State University4-year, Public
Simmons College of Kentucky4-year, Private NFP


Louisiana HBCU’s

Dillard University4-year, Private NFP
Grambling State University4-year, Public
Southern University and A & M College4-year, Public
Southern University at New Orleans4-year, Public
Southern University at Shreveport2-year, Public
Southern University Law Center4-year, Public
Xavier University of Louisiana4-year, Private NFP


Maryland HBCU’s

Bowie State University4-year, Public
Coppin State University4-year, Public
Morgan State University4-year, Public
University of Maryland Eastern Shore4-year, Public


Mississippi HBCU’s

Alcorn State University4-year, Public
Coahoma Community College2-year, Public
Jackson State University4-year, Public
Mississippi Valley State University4-year, Public
Rust College4-year, Private NFP
Tougaloo College4-year, Private NFP


Missouri HBCU’s

Harris-Stowe State University4-year, Public
Lincoln University4-year, Public


North Carolina HBCU’s

Bennett College4-year, Private NFP
Elizabeth City State University4-year, Public
Fayetteville State University4-year, Public
Johnson C Smith University4-year, Private NFP
Livingstone College4-year, Private NFP
North Carolina A & T State University4-year, Public
North Carolina Central University4-year, Public
Saint Augustine’s University4-year, Private NFP
Shaw University4-year, Private NFP
Winston-Salem State University4-year, Public


Ohio HBCU’s

Central State University4-year, Public
Wilberforce University4-year, Private not-for-profit


Oklahoma HBCU’s

Langston University4-year, Public


Pennsylvania HBCU’s

Cheyney University of Pennsylvania4-year, Public
Lincoln University4-year, Public


South Carolina HBCU’s

Allen University4-year, Private NFP
Benedict College4-year, Private NFP
Claflin University4-year, Private NFP
Clinton College4-year, Private NFP
Denmark Technical College2-year, Public
Morris College4-year, Private NFP
South Carolina State University4-year, Public
Voorhees College4-year, Private NFP


Tennessee HBCU’s

American Baptist College4-year, Private NFP
Fisk University4-year, Private NFP
Lane College4-year, Private NFP
Le Moyne-Owen College4-year, Private NFP
Meharry Medical College4-year, Private NFP
Tennessee State University4-year, Public


Texas HBCU’s

Huston-Tillotson University4-year, Private NFP
Jarvis Christian College4-year, Private NFP
Paul Quinn College4-year, Private NFP
Prairie View A & M University4-year, Public
Southwestern Christian College4-year, Private NFP
St Philip’s College2-year, Public
Texas College4-year, Private NFP
Texas Southern University4-year, Public
Wiley College4-year, Private NFP

US Virgin Islands HBCU’s

University of the Virgin Islands4-year, Public
University of the Virgin Islands-Albert A. Sheen4-year, Public

Virginia HBCU’s

Hampton University4-year, Private NFP
Norfolk State University4-year, Public
Virginia State University4-year, Public
Virginia Union University4-year, Private NFP
Virginia University of Lynchburg4-year, Private NFP

West Virginia HBCU’s

Bluefield State College4-year, Public
West Virginia State University4-year, Public

* Statistics and facts from ed.gov.


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Born in SoCal yet raised Tampa, Florida - Leah earned her undergraduate BA in Liberal Studies from the University of Central Florida. Leah earned her MA in the MALAS at San Diego State University, while also completing a graduate teaching certificate in English for Secondary Education. An avid traveler, she has visited more than 60 countries. With the birth of her son Spencer in 2012, Leah embarked on her biggest adventure (yet) as parent and Coast Guard wife.