What HBCUs Have the Worst Graduation Rates?

Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) have been an integral part of the educational landscape in the United States for over a century. HBCUs were established to provide African American students with access to higher education during a time when they were denied entry to predominantly White institutions. However, despite the importance of these institutions, HBCUs continue to struggle with low graduation rates.

According to data from the National Center for Education Statistics, the overall graduation rate for HBCUs in 2017 was 36%. This is significantly lower than the graduation rate for all colleges and universities, which was 60%. While there are many factors that contribute to low graduation rates, including lack of funding, inadequate academic preparation, and socio-economic challenges, some HBCUs are consistently struggling with low graduation rates.

One HBCU with particularly low graduation rates is Morris Brown College in Atlanta, Georgia. Morris Brown College’s graduation rate is just 5%. The college has a storied history, having been founded in 1881, but financial difficulties led to its loss of accreditation in 2002. Despite efforts to regain accreditation, the college has been unable to recover, and its graduation rate is among the lowest of any college or university in the United States.

Another HBCU with low graduation rates is South Carolina State University, which has a graduation rate of 27%. South Carolina State University has faced a variety of challenges in recent years, including budget cuts and declining enrollment. In 2015, the university received a $6 million emergency loan from the state in order to remain operational.

Finally, Albany State University in Georgia has a graduation rate of just 17%. Albany State University has had a tumultuous history, having been founded in 1903 as the Albany Bible and Manual Training Institute. It later became a state college in 1943 and was merged with another college in 2017. The university has struggled with a variety of challenges, including financial difficulties and accreditation issues.

While these HBCUs have some of the lowest graduation rates, it is important to note that many other HBCUs have much higher graduation rates and are providing valuable educational opportunities to African American students. Additionally, many HBCUs are working to improve their graduation rates through a variety of initiatives, including academic support services and partnerships with local businesses.

In conclusion, low graduation rates at HBCUs are a complex issue with many contributing factors. While some HBCUs continue to struggle with low graduation rates, it is important to recognize the contributions of these institutions to higher education and to support efforts to improve their outcomes.  

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