Spotlight on 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 A & M University||4-year, Public|
|Alabama State University||4-year, Public|
|Bishop State Community College||2-year, Public|
|Gadsden State Community College||2-year, Public|
|H Councill Trenholm State Community College||2-year, Public|
|J. F. Drake State Community & Technical College||2-year, Public|
|Lawson State Community College||2-year, Public|
|Miles College||4-year, Private NFP|
|Oakwood University||4-year, Private NFP|
|Shelton State Community College||2-year, Public|
|Stillman College||4-year, Private NFP|
|Talladega College||4-year, Private NFP|
|Tuskegee University||4-year, Private NFP|
|Arkansas Baptist College||4-year, Private NFP|
|Philander Smith College||4-year, Private NFP|
|Shorter College||2-year, Private NFP|
|University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff||4-year, Public|
|Delaware State University||4-year, Public|
District of Columbia HBCU’s
|Howard University||4-year, Private NFP|
|University of the District of Columbia||4-year, Public|
|University of DC -David A Clarke School of Law||4-year, Public|
|Bethune-Cookman University||4-year, Private NFP|
|Edward Waters College||4-year, Private NFP|
|Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University||4-year, Public|
|Florida Memorial University||4-year, Private NFP|
|Albany State University||4-year, Public|
|Clark Atlanta University||4-year, Private NFP|
|Fort Valley State University||4-year, Public|
|Interdenominational Theological Center||4-year, Private NFP|
|Morehouse College||4-year, Private NFP|
|Morehouse School of Medicine||4-year, Private NFP|
|Paine College||4-year, Private NFP|
|Savannah State University||4-year, Public|
|Spelman College||4-year, Private NFP|
|Kentucky State University||4-year, Public|
|Simmons College of Kentucky||4-year, Private NFP|
|Dillard University||4-year, Private NFP|
|Grambling State University||4-year, Public|
|Southern University and A & M College||4-year, Public|
|Southern University at New Orleans||4-year, Public|
|Southern University at Shreveport||2-year, Public|
|Southern University Law Center||4-year, Public|
|Xavier University of Louisiana||4-year, Private NFP|
|Bowie State University||4-year, Public|
|Coppin State University||4-year, Public|
|Morgan State University||4-year, Public|
|University of Maryland Eastern Shore||4-year, Public|
|Alcorn State University||4-year, Public|
|Coahoma Community College||2-year, Public|
|Jackson State University||4-year, Public|
|Mississippi Valley State University||4-year, Public|
|Rust College||4-year, Private NFP|
|Tougaloo College||4-year, Private NFP|
|Harris-Stowe State University||4-year, Public|
|Lincoln University||4-year, Public|
North Carolina HBCU’s
|Bennett College||4-year, Private NFP|
|Elizabeth City State University||4-year, Public|
|Fayetteville State University||4-year, Public|
|Johnson C Smith University||4-year, Private NFP|
|Livingstone College||4-year, Private NFP|
|North Carolina A & T State University||4-year, Public|
|North Carolina Central University||4-year, Public|
|Saint Augustine’s University||4-year, Private NFP|
|Shaw University||4-year, Private NFP|
|Winston-Salem State University||4-year, Public|
|Central State University||4-year, Public|
|Wilberforce University||4-year, Private not-for-profit|
|Langston University||4-year, Public|
|Cheyney University of Pennsylvania||4-year, Public|
|Lincoln University||4-year, Public|
South Carolina HBCU’s
|Allen University||4-year, Private NFP|
|Benedict College||4-year, Private NFP|
|Claflin University||4-year, Private NFP|
|Clinton College||4-year, Private NFP|
|Denmark Technical College||2-year, Public|
|Morris College||4-year, Private NFP|
|South Carolina State University||4-year, Public|
|Voorhees College||4-year, Private NFP|
|American Baptist College||4-year, Private NFP|
|Fisk University||4-year, Private NFP|
|Lane College||4-year, Private NFP|
|Le Moyne-Owen College||4-year, Private NFP|
|Meharry Medical College||4-year, Private NFP|
|Tennessee State University||4-year, Public|
|Huston-Tillotson University||4-year, Private NFP|
|Jarvis Christian College||4-year, Private NFP|
|Paul Quinn College||4-year, Private NFP|
|Prairie View A & M University||4-year, Public|
|Southwestern Christian College||4-year, Private NFP|
|St Philip’s College||2-year, Public|
|Texas College||4-year, Private NFP|
|Texas Southern University||4-year, Public|
|Wiley College||4-year, Private NFP|
US Virgin Islands HBCU’s
|University of the Virgin Islands||4-year, Public|
|University of the Virgin Islands-Albert A. Sheen||4-year, Public|
|Hampton University||4-year, Private NFP|
|Norfolk State University||4-year, Public|
|Virginia State University||4-year, Public|
|Virginia Union University||4-year, Private NFP|
|Virginia University of Lynchburg||4-year, Private NFP|
West Virginia HBCU’s
|Bluefield State College||4-year, Public|
|West Virginia State University||4-year, Public|
* Statistics and facts from ed.gov.
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About the author
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.