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HBCUs Performing Well in Enrolling, Graduating Students

Historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs) which are usually under-resourced are performing far better than their sizes and resources would lead one to expect, a new Punching Above Their Weight report found.

The report, released by the United Negro College Fund (UNCF), found that the enrollment, degree and economic impacts of HBCUs on African American populations within their respective states are significantly greater than many would believe.

Compiled by UNCF’s Frederick D. Patterson Research Institute after analyzing data from the U.S. Department of Education’s Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS), the report found that HBCUs across 21 southern states and territories enroll 24 percent of black undergraduates and award 26 percent of all bachelor’s degrees to black students.

The Virgin Islands, the District of Columbia and Mississippi are the top three states and territories where HBCUs enroll the most undergraduate black students.

The report also found that HBCUs in states like Louisiana represent 19 percent of all higher education institutes in the state, and enroll 38 percent of all black students and graduates.

Similarly, in Delaware, the sole HBCU enrolls 40 percent of black undergraduates and awards 47 percent of bachelor’s degrees to black students in the state. Florida HBCUs represent just 4 percent of the state’s four-year colleges and universities, but enroll 9 percent of all black undergraduates in the state.

On the other side of the spectrum, Kentucky, Ohio and Pennsylvania HBCUs enroll the lowest percentage of black undergraduates.

“The economic health of the country, and especially the economic health of the highly-diverse Southeast, is fueled by education,” Dr. Brian Bridges, UNCF’s vice president of research and member engagement, said in a statement.

“The current and future needs of employers, workers, and communities leaves us little choice but to invest in the proven capability of HBCUs to produce the results that our continued prosperity demands.”

Earlier, another report released by UNCF found that HBCUs create 134,090 jobs annually and generate $14.8 billion in total economic impact for their local and regional economies.

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