African American History Month: 15 Best Colleges and Universities for African American Students

As part of our ongoing series to honor African American History Month, DiscoBratz has gathered some statistics on the best college outcomes for African American students. It’s important that we look at the data because throughout our nation’s history, African American people have been systemically locked out of higher education.

The criteria for these revolves around overall success for adults:

Graduation rates. Looking at graduation rates is one of the best measures of how well a college or university supports its African American students, whose average graduation rate of 40.8% within six years lags behind other ethnic groups.

Affordability.  Student and parent borrowing are a key factor. Net prices charged to low-income students are combined with the average net price of a degree of each school, after subtracting its financial aid. Then other financial opportunities like Pell grants and scholarships can affect the total sticker price as well.

Earning potential. Affordability and earning potential help to identify colleges that produce relatively high earners.

Representation. The student experience is also important. African Americans represent at least 5% of students. When any one ethnicity is underrepresented, those individual students will not do as well academically.

Here are the 50 schools that earned the highest scores. Sourced from MONEY’s Best Colleges for Your Money rankings.

  1. Princeton. While African American people only represent 6% of the student body at Princeton, they have a 93% graduation rate and an early earning prediction of 60k.
  2. Harvard. It’s probably safe to say looking at this list that Ivy League schools have the money, resources and will to support their African American students. The price of a Harvard education is approximately $176, 500, with a 96% graduation rate.
  3. Duke. The cost of tuition at Duke is steeper ($213,000) which brings it lower down the list, but it has a 7% African American student body.
  4. Cornell. This school is arguably one of the best learning institutions in the country, but it’s also the most expensive on the list with a tuition cost of $216,200. However, initial earnings potential is 59k, and graduation success is a strong 88%.
  5. Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University. This school made the list because it has an African American majority (87%) and a sticker price of only $94,000.
  6. Spelman. As one of the few all female African American liberal arts schools, Spelman has a pretty high graduation rate sitting at 75%, but its early earning predication is around 41k.
  7. University of Pennsylvania. 6% of the student body is African American, but this school boasts a 94% graduation rate with earnings starting at 59k.
  8. Yale. Again, when crunching the numbers, African American students represent a small part of the student population, but their success rates are high with 92% graduation and 59k earnings.
  9. North Carolina AT&T State University. Overwhelmingly, with the graduation of African Americans at 80% and with a tuition cost of 77k, this school made the list with initial earnings at 52k.
  10. University of Maryland-College Park. Inexpensive, with potential, initial earnings of $52,700, this school came in right above Columbia for African American college success.

There are of course, many other criteria that come into play when it comes to getting a college education, like proximity to family, cost of housing, and the type of degree desired. But for all of us parents looking at the cost of education and the disproportionate numbers of African American students in the university system, it’s important that we know the facts and do everything we can to ensure that these numbers continue to grow.





About Susie Almaneih

Susie Almaneih spent several years during her young adulthood teaching children dance at her church group, as well as other cultural-based activities. Susie now spends as much time as she can giving back to the families in her community. Over the years, this love for community has evolved into a deeper love for delivering positive and creative content and awareness to families of all ages.

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