5 Facts about Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs)
In 1837, Cheyney University of Pennsylvania opened and was established by Quaker Richard Humphreys. The University was known as the “Institute for Colored Youth” and is the oldest historically black school of higher education.
In Title III of the Higher Education Act of 1965, Congress officially defined an HBCU as an institution of higher learning that was accredited and established before 1964, and whose primary mission was the education of African Americans.
Today, there are more than 100 HBCUs in 19 states, and while they were originally founded to educate black students, over time their student bodies have become more racially diverse. Studies show that in 2013, non-African American students made up 20% of enrollment at HBCUs.
Spelman and Bennett Colleges combined contribute to over half of the nation’s African American women who earn doctorates in all science fields.
Famous HBCU alumni such as Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Rosa Parks, Jesse Jackson, and Oprah Winfrey have helped shaped their respective fields and/or the country.