20 Best HCBU Colleges

Historically Black Colleges or Universities (also known as HBCUs) are institutions of higher education that have strong historical roots within the Black community, as they were primarily created to serve driven, intelligent, and motivated Black students.

These postsecondary universities were, at one time in their histories, some of the few places that members of the black community could obtain a higher education. There are 107 HBCU colleges in the United States, and almost all of them are located in former slave states — although a few exceptions exist.

All Historically Black Colleges (HBCUs) and HBCU graduate programs have always allowed admission to students of all races, so it is a myth that these HBCU colleges were ever all-black colleges. However, because these HBCU colleges were all established before 1964, at the time these colleges were the only places that members of the black community could obtain a higher education. Therefore, most of these schools prioritize admitting Black students and making sure they achieve their dreams.

 20 HBCU Colleges with Online Programs

Methodology

We have ranked the following Historically Black Colleges (HBCU colleges) based on the following criteria:

  • 50% Quality of Education Provided
  • 50% Program Flexibility

Quality of the Education Provided is a criteria determined by whether or not the school is accredited, if the school provides a good ROI to students, and is also based on the percentage of students that have obtained a career in their chosen field six months after graduation.

Program Flexibility is based on the number of programs the school offers online, including HBCU graduate programs, and whether or not they are available in an asynchronous or remote learning format.

These ranking criteria were chosen because a high-quality and flexible educational program is one of the strongest indicators of a college’s capabilities of producing excellent students.

Each of the 20 HBCUs on our list has scored incredibly high in both of the above criteria, making them some of the best schools for Black students in the country. Our scoring system is based on how many programs are available online, how flexible these programs are and how rigorous they are based on data collected from NCES and each individual school’s website. We also consulted our own ranking of the top 100 best online colleges for this ranking of the top 20 HBCU colleges.

Online HCBU Colleges

#

School

Tuition (in state)

20

Florida A&M University

$5,785

19

Xavier University

$25,822

18

Fisk University

$22,132

17

Claflin University

$17,046

16

North Carolina Central University

$6,629

15

Jackson State University

$8,445

14

Fayetteville State University

$5,309

13

Dillard University

$19,281

12

Elizabeth City State University

$3,260

11

Morgan State University

$7,628

10

Lincoln University

$8,370

9

Bluefield State College

$7,680

8

Bowie State University

$8,444

7

Hampton University

$29,312

6

Albany State University

$5,934

5

Bethune-Cookman University

$14,794

4

Tuskegee University

$22,614

3

Howard University

$28,440

2

Tougaloo College

$10,861

1

North Carolina A&T State University

$6,657

20. Florida A&M University

Current in-state tuition: $5,785

Current out-of-state tuition: $17,725

Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University, commonly abbreviated as FAMU, is an HBCU (Historically Black College or University) located in Tallahassee, Florida. FAMU currently has an acceptance rate of 36-percent and a graduation rate of 41-percent with a student body of approximately 7,700 undergraduates. 

The school was originally established in the year of 1887, creating the FAMU nursing and pharmacy program in 1971 and, to provide the school’s students with hands-on experience, built a hospital. This hospital was the only one within a 150-mile radius to serve the black community in Florida. 

In the year of 2016, Florida A&M was promoted to a Doctoral University with a Higher Research Activity in the Carnegie Classifications by the Indiana University Center for Postsecondary Research and is also the only HBCU college located within the state of Florida. The school has many degree programs available for students, most of which are available in an online format.

If you wish to learn more or would like to connect, please use the following links:

FAMU’s Website – https://www.famu.edu/

Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/FAMU1887

Twitter – https://twitter.com/FAMU_1887

19. Xavier University

Current tuition: $25,822

Xavier University of Louisiana, a Historically Black and Roman Catholic-affiliated school, was founded in 1915. Currently, the university has an acceptance rate of 60-percent and a graduation rate of 42-percent with an undergraduate student body of around 2,400. 

The school, which is commonly referred to as XULA, has numerous undergraduate degree-granting programs, graduate degree-granting programs and professional certification programs available for students to choose from across a wide-range of disciplines. Many of these programs are available in an online and asynchronous format to cater to the school’s many distance-learning students.

In August of 2005, XULA suffered severe structural damage to every building on campus due to Hurricane Katrina; however, the school has since been repaired and is stronger than ever. 

If you wish to learn more or would like to connect, please use the following links:

XULA’s Website – https://www.xula.edu/

Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/XULA1925

Twitter – https://twitter.com/xula1925

18. Fisk University

Current tuition: $22,132

Located in Nashville, Tennessee, Fisk University is a small, private Historically Black University with a historical affiliation with the United Church of Christ. Currently, Fisk has an acceptance rate of 93-percent, making it extremely easy to get into. Fisk’s graduation rate sits at 44-percent with an undergraduate student body of just over 700. 

Today, Fisk is still a predominantly black university but is no longer a religiously-affiliated school. The HBCU, which was originally established in 1866, has numerous undergraduate degree-granting programs, graduate degree-granting programs and professional certification programs available for students to choose from. A lot of these programs are available for distance learning students completely online. 

Fisk University is currently accredited by Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS) a regional accreditor responsible for accrediting institutions of higher learning located in the southern region of the United States.

If you wish to learn more or would like to connect, please use the following links:

Fisk University’s Website – https://www.fisk.edu/

Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/Fisk1866/

Twitter – https://twitter.com/fisk1866

17. Claflin University

Current tuition: $17,046

Claflin University is a Historically Black, Methodist-affiliated private liberal arts university based in Orangeburg, South Carolina. Claflin currently has an acceptance rate of about 55-percent and a graduation rate of about 57-percent. Their undergraduate student body is just over 2,000, so the school is relatively small compared to other HBCUs. 

Claflin was established in 1869 by Methodist missionaries from Massachusetts to provide an education to freedmen and to prepare them for full integration as free citizens of the United States following slavery. 

This particular HBCU has a student-to-faculty ratio of 14:1 and has many undergraduate degree-granting programs, graduate degree-granting programs and professional certification programs available for students to choose from, many of them being available as distance learning programs online.

Claflin University currently is home to eight of the nine National Pan-Hellenic Council organization chapters, including Alpha Kappa Alpha, Alpha Phi Alpha, Delta Sigma Theta and Kappa Alpha Psi. If you are at all interested in getting involved in Greek life during your undergraduate career, Claflin is a great place to do it. 

If you wish to learn more or would like to connect, please use the following links:

Claflin University’s Website – https://www.claflin.edu/

Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/ClaflinUniversity1869

Twitter – https://twitter.com/ClaflinUniv1869

16. North Carolina Central University

Current in-state tuition: $6,629

Current out-of-state tuition: $19,336

Located in Durham, North Carolina, North Carolina Central University (which is commonly referred to as NCCU) is a Historically Black University that was originally established in the year of 1910. NCCU currently has an acceptance rate of about 68-percent and a graduation rate of about 42-percent with an undergraduate student body of nearly 6,000. 

North Carolina Central University is a member institution of the Thurgood Marshall College Fund, which is a college fund for members of the black community that are attending either a private or a public HBCU.

NCCU has numerous undergraduate degree-granting programs, graduate degree-granting programs and professional certification programs available for students to choose from, accommodating both traditional on-campus students and distance learning students. The online programs are available in a fully asynchronous format, providing a significant amount of flexibility for distance learning students or for those who just want to pursue a cheaper college degree online. 

If you wish to learn more or would like to connect, please use the following links:

NCCU’s Website – https://www.nccu.edu/

Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/NCCUEagle/

Twitter – https://twitter.com/NCCU

15. Jackson State University

Current in-state tuition: $8,445

Current out-of-state tuition: $9,445

Jackson State University, which is commonly referred to as Jackson State or abbreviated as JSU, is a Historically Black University located in Jackson, Mississippi. As of 2021, the school has an acceptance rate of around 68-percent and a graduation rate of around 37-percent. The undergraduate student body sits at just over 5,000, so the school is pretty mid-sized. 

JSU was founded during the Reconstruction Era in the year of 1877 in Natchez, Mississippi by the American Baptist Home Mission Society of New York City, and was originally named Natchez Seminary. The Society moved the school to the state’s capital in 1882 and renamed it to Jackson College. It attained university status in the year of 1974 and is classified as a research university with a high research rating by the Carnegie Classification of Institutions of Higher Education.

JSU has many undergraduate, graduate and certification programs–both online and on-campus–available from which students can choose. JSU uses the same faculty for both their online and in-person classes, meaning you will get the same quality of education regardless of the learning format you choose. 

If you wish to learn more or would like to connect, please use the following links:

JSU’s Website – https://www.jsums.edu/

Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/JacksonStateU 

Twitter – https://twitter.com/jacksonstateU

14. Fayetteville State University

Current in-state tuition: $5,309

Current out-of-state tuition: $16,917

Located in Fayetteville, North Carolina, Fayetteville State University (UNCFSU) is a Historically Black University and a member institution of the Thurgood Marshall College Fund, making it a highly-accredited school. UNCFSU currently has an acceptance rate of about 69-percent and a graduation rate of about 57-percent with an undergraduate student body of nearly 5,000. 

Fayetteville State University offers Bachelor’s degrees in 43 separate areas, Master’s degrees in 23 areas and one doctoral degree in the field of educational leadership. Many of these degree programs are available online for distance learning students and don’t require you to be on campus or in the classroom. These degrees are especially advantageous for those who have a tight schedule or want to save their money while getting a degree. 

FSU is fully accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools and has been since 1939. Fayetteville State University was originally established in the year of 1867 and has been providing quality, liberal arts education to the surrounding black community ever since.

If you wish to learn more or would like to connect, please use the following links:

FSU’s Website – https://www.uncfsu.edu/

Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/Admissions.FSU

Twitter – https://twitter.com/uncfsu

13. Dillard University

Current tuition: $19,281

Located in New Orleans, Louisiana, Dillard University (DU) is a private, Historically Black University that provides students with a liberal arts education. As of 2021, DU has an acceptance rate of 39-percent, making it relatively hard to get into. The school’s graduation rate is 42-percent with an undergraduate student body of around 1,300. 

The university was established in the year of 1869 and named after James H. Dillard, who was an educator from Virginia and a strong proponent of providing the black community with a quality education. The school has a myriad of undergraduate degree-granting programs, graduate degree-granting programs and professional certification programs available for students to choose from that span a wide variety of disciplines.

As with most HBCUs, many of these academic programs are offered in an online and asynchronous format to cater to the school’s many distance-learning students.

If you wish to learn more or would like to connect, please use the following links:

Dillard University’s Website – https://www.dillard.edu/

Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/dillarduniversity/

Twitter – https://twitter.com/du1869

12. Elizabeth City State University

Current in-state tuition: $3,260

Current out-of-state tuition: $7,260

A public Historically Black University located in Elizabeth City, North Carolina, Elizabeth City State University was originally established in the year of 1891 by the North Carolina General Assembly. The university’s aims have always been to provide the black community with educational opportunities. Currently, the university has an acceptance rate of 66-percent and a graduation rate of 37-percent, hosting an undergraduate student body of just over 1,500, making it a pretty small school. 

The HBCU college was initially focused on the training and teaching of educators for two-year “normal schools,” but, today provides students with a selection of 4-year undergraduate degree-granting programs, graduate degree-granting programs and professional certificate-granting programs, many of which are available in an online and asynchronous format. These online programs are of a high-quality nature and are extremely flexible, with qualified instructors who are well-versed in their course material. 

If you wish to learn more or would like to connect, please use the following links:

ECSU’s Website – https://www.ecsu.edu/

Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/ElizabethCityStateUniversity

Twitter – https://twitter.com/ecsu

11. Morgan State University

Current in-state tuition: $7,628

Current out-of-state tuition: $20,251

Located in Baltimore, Maryland, Morgan State University is a public, Historically Black University that was originally established in the year of 1867. As of 2021, the school has an acceptance rate of 68-percent and a graduation rate of 32-percent. This year, the undergraduate enrollment was around 6,500, making it a midsized school. 

Morgan State University (abbreviated to Morgan State or MSU) has a selection of academic programs that cover a variety of disciplines. These academic programs include undergraduate degree-granting programs, graduate degree-granting programs, and professional certification programs, and are available both to traditional on-campus students and distance learning students via an online and asynchronous format. 

Although Morgan State is a public institution, it chose not to be a part of the University System of Maryland. As a result, Morgan State University continues to possess its own governing Board of Regents. 

If you wish to learn more or would like to connect, please use the following links:

MSU’s Website – https://www.morgan.edu/

Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/morganstateu/

Twitter – https://twitter.com/morganstateu/

10. Lincoln University

Current in-state tuition: $8,370

Current out-of-state tuition: $15,360

Located in Jefferson City, Missouri, Lincoln University is a Historically Black University that was established in the year of 1866 by the soldiers and officers of the 62nd United States Colored Infantry, who were stationed at Fort McIntosh, Texas, but the armed regiment was composed mostly of Missourians. 

The regiment established the school in Jefferson City and originally named it the Lincoln Institute. Today, Lincoln University, a land-grant institution, provides students with numerous undergraduate, graduate and professional certification programs. Many of these programs are available to distance learning students via an online and asynchronous format. 

As of this year, Lincoln has a graduation rate of 21-percent and an undergraduate enrollment of nearly 2,000. While there aren’t a high percentage of students graduating from Lincoln, it has proven to be a significant stepping stone for many driven students. 

If you wish to learn more or would like to connect, please use the following links:

Lincoln’s Website – https://www.lincolnu.edu/

Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/LUBlueTigers

Twitter – https://twitter.com/LUBlueTigers

9. Bluefield State College

Current in-state tuition: $7,680

Current out-of-state tuition: $14,544

Bluefield State College (which is commonly referred to as BSC) is a Historically Black College that is located in Bluefield, West Virginia. Bluefield State is extremely easy for most students to get into, with an acceptance rate of 94-percent and a graduation rate of 27-percent. Their undergraduate enrollment is just over 1,200, so Bluefield State is certainly a tight-knit community. 

This HBCU college is a part of West Virginia’s public education system and offers numerous undergraduate degree-granting programs, both on-campus and online. Bluefield State College is the only non-residential four-year college in the state system and administers the separately accredited New River Community and Technical College, which conducts classes throughout the southeastern part of West Virginia. By attending Bluefield State, you have the opportunity to save a significant amount of money by not paying for student housing on campus. 

Bluefield State College is a member of the Thurgood Marshall College Fund and was initially established in the year of 1895. Today, the school has a higher percentage of Caucasian students but still maintains its federal status as an HBCU college.

If you wish to learn more or would like to connect, please use the following links:

BSC’s Website – https://www.bluefieldstate.edu/

Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/BluefieldStateCollege/

Twitter – https://twitter.com/BlfdState 

8. Bowie State University

Current in-state tuition: $8,444

Current out-of-state tuition: $19,136

Located in Prince George’s County, Maryland—just north of the suburban area of Bowie—Bowie State University is a public, liberal arts Historically Black University that was established in 1865. As of this year, Bowie State has an acceptance rate of about 80-percent and a graduation rate of around 36-percent with an undergraduate student body of just over 5,000. 

Bowie State University (which is commonly referred to as Bowie State) provides the surrounding Black community with numerous undergraduate degree-granting programs, graduate degree-granting programs and professional certification programs to choose from, which span across multiple liberal arts disciplines. Many of the school’s academic programs are also available in an online, asynchronous and highly flexible format for the many distance-learning students that are attracted to the school each year.

If you wish to learn more or would like to connect, please use the following links:

Bowie State University’s Website – https://www.bowiestate.edu/

Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/bowiestate

Twitter – https://twitter.com/bowiestate

7. Hampton University

Current tuition: $29,312

Located in Hampton, Virginia, Hampton University is a private Historically Black university that was founded in 1868 by both Black and white leaders of the American Missionary Association to provide education to freedmen after the American Civil War ended.

Among one of the school’s first students and perhaps most notable alumni was Booker T. Washington, who went on to establish Tuskegee University later in his accomplished and storied life.

As of 2016, Hampton University offers 48 bachelor programs, 23 master programs, eight doctoral programs, two professional programs and eight certification programs. Many of these academic programs are also available in an online and asynchronous format to allow distance learning students to obtain an education at this school. At the moment, the school is becoming more and more competitive each year, with a current acceptance rate of 36-percent and a graduation rate of 54-percent. Their past undergraduate enrollment has hovered around 3,500.

If you wish to learn more or would like to connect, please use the following links:

Hampton University’s Website – https://www.hamptonu.edu/

Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/hamptonuniversity

Twitter – https://twitter.com/_hamptonu

6. Albany State University

Current in-state tuition: $5,934

Current out-of-state tuition: $16,656

Located in Albany, Georgia, Albany State University is a public, Historically Black University. Albany State, or ASU as it is commonly abbreviated, is a relatively selective school, with an acceptance rate of around 66-percent and a graduation rate of around 40-percent.

The school, which was originally established in the year of 1903, is one of three HBCU colleges in the University System of Georgia. Albany State University is also a member-school of the esteemed Thurgood Marshall College Fund.

ASU has many undergraduate degree-granting programs, graduate degree-granting programs and professional certificate-granting programs available for students to choose from, spanning multiple disciplines. Many of these programs are available to distance learning students via an online and asynchronous format.

If you wish to learn more or would like to connect, please use the following links:

ASU’s Website – https://www.asurams.edu/

Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/AlbanyStateUniv/

Twitter – https://twitter.com/AlbanyStateUniv

5. Bethune-Cookman University

Current tuition: $14,794

Located in Daytona, Florida, Bethune-Cookman University (which is commonly referred to as B-CU) is a private, coeducational and Historically Black university that is affiliated with the United Methodist Church. B-CU accepts most students, with a current acceptance rate of 84-percent and a graduation rate of about 34-percent. They’re a relatively small school, with an undergraduate enrollment hovering around 3,500. 

B-CU, which was originally founded in the year of 1904 as the Daytona Educational and Industrial Training School, has a wide selection of undergraduate degree-granting programs, graduate degree-granting programs and professional certification programs available for students to enroll in. Many of these programs are also available in an online and asynchronous format.

This HBCU became a four-year college in the year 1941 when the Florida Board of Education approved a 4-year bachelor program in Liberal Arts and Teacher Education, and the name was changed from the Daytona Educational and Industrial Training School to Bethune-Cookman College. In 2007, the Board of Trustees adopted the name Bethune-Cookman University after the school established its first graduate program.

If you wish to learn more or would like to connect, please use the following links:

B-CU’S Website – https://www.cookman.edu/

Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/bethunecookmanuniv

Twitter – https://twitter.com/bethunecookman

4. Tuskegee University

Current tuition: $22,614

Tuskegee University is a private, Historically Black University that is located in Tuskegee, Alabama. The historic Tuskegee University is relatively selective with their student body, boasting an acceptance rate of around 52-percent and a graduation rate of 45-percent. Tuskegee is also a relatively small school, with an undergraduate student body hovering around 2,500. 

Tuskegee University was founded in 1881 by Booker T. Washington, a historic leader of the black community who was also a notable educator, author, orator, and advisor to presidents of the United States.

The campus is designated as the Tuskegee Institute National Historic Site by the National Park Service and is the only university located in the United States to have this distinguished designation.

The HBCU was also home to scientist George Washington Carver and the World War II’s Tuskegee Airmen regiment.

Tuskegee University offers 40 bachelor’s degree programs, 17 master’s degree programs and numerous professional certification programs, many of which are available to distance learning students in an online and asynchronous format.

If you wish to learn more or would like to connect, please use the following links:

TU’s Website – https://www.tuskegee.edu/

Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/TUSKEGEEUNIVERSITY/

Twitter – https://twitter.com/TuskegeeUniv

3. Howard University

Current tuition: $28,440

Howard University is a Historically Black University located in Washington, D.C., established in the year of 1867. The university was originally known as Howard Normal and Theological School for the Education of Teachers and Preachers, but later changed their name to what we know it as now. Howard University (HU) is one of the more selective HBCUs in the country, with an acceptance rate of 36-percent and a graduation rate of around 59-percent. With an undergraduate enrollment of just over 6,000, HU is a midsized school.

Howard is classified by the Carnegie Foundation as a research university with high research activity and is classified as a Tier 1 University and ranks second among HBCU colleges by U.S. News & World Report. Howard University has many undergraduate degree-granting programs, graduate degree-granting programs and professional certification programs available to students, many of which are available in a fully online and completely asynchronous format.

Netflix also recently gave Howard University a $5.5 million scholarship in memory of late actor Chadwick Boseman, so this fund is certainly something you should look into if you are a prospective student at Howard. 

If you wish to learn more or would like to connect, please use the following links:

Howard University’s Website – https://www2.howard.edu/

Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/HowardU/

Twitter – https://twitter.com/HowardU

2. Tougaloo College

Current tuition: $10,861

Located in Tougaloo, Mississippi, Tougaloo College is a private, liberal arts Historically Black College that was originally founded in the year of 1869. As of 2021, the college’s acceptance rate is around 71-percent and their graduation rate is around 42-percent. The school is incredibly small, with an undergraduate enrollment of just over 700 students. 

Tougaloo College was originally established by New York-based Christian missionaries for the education of freed slaves and their offspring. The school’s history includes a strong foundation in both civic and social activism, including hosting the 50th Anniversary Celebration of Freedom Summer in June of 2014. In 1998 the buildings of the school’s old campus were added to the National Register of Historic Places.

Tougaloo College offers many undergraduate programs, graduate programs, and professional certification programs to students, both on-campus and online. The online programs are fully asynchronous and highly flexible.

If you wish to learn more or would like to connect, please use the following links:

Tougaloo’s Website – https://www.tougaloo.edu/

Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/tougaloocollege

1. North Carolina A&T State University

Current in-state tuition: $6,657

Current out-of-state tuition: $20,167

North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University (which is commonly referred to as North Carolina A&T State University, North Carolina A&T or simply as A&T) is our top pick for the best HBCU colleges. Currently, their acceptance rate is around 58-percent while their graduation rate is 43-percent, but this doesn’t even scratch the surface of the potential for success at North Carolina A&T. 

North Carolina A&T is a public, land-grant Historically Black University and was originally established in the year of 1891 by an act of the North Carolina General Assembly.

This HBCU is currently the largest one located within the nation based on student enrollment, which is just over 10,000 students as of 2021. Initially, the college offered students an education in Agriculture, English, Horticulture, and Mathematics. However, today the school offers 177 undergraduate degrees, 30 master degrees, and nine doctoral degrees across its two professional colleges and seven schools. Many of these programs are provided in an online and fully asynchronous format.

If you wish to learn more or would like to connect, please use the following links:

N.C. A&T’s Website – https://www.ncat.edu/

Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/ncatsuaggies

Twitter – https://twitter.com/ncatsuaggies

Top 20 Best Historically Black Colleges and Universities ( HBCU Colleges) with Online Programs edited by Gerri Elder.

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