Virginia State University
Year Founded: 1882
The school was the first fully state-supported four-year institution of higher learning for African Americans in the United States. Norfolk State University grew out of Virginia State University, which accepted its first Ph.D. students in 2003. The major institutes within the school include the Reginald F. Lewis School of Business; School of Agriculture; School of Engineering, Science and Technology; and School of Liberal Arts and Education. Virginia State University also has an Institute for Study of Race Relations.
Notable alumni: businessman Reginald Lewis, jazz pianist Joe Bonner, actor James Avery, U.S. Ambassador to Jamaica Pamela E. Bidgewater, jazz musician Billy Taylor
Tuition: $7,090 (in-state); $15,485 (out-of-state)
Enrollment: 5,075 (61% female; 39% male)
Acceptance rate: 51.4%
Four-year graduation rate: 24%
Alcorn State University
Year Founded: 1871
Alcorn was founded on the site of a White school, Oakland Colledge, which closed its doors so that its students could go fight for the Confederacy during the Civil War. It was founded primarily as a vocational school to train Black students to work in agriculture. The univeristy has seven school and degree programs in more than 50 areas.
Notable alumni: Medgar Evers, football player Steve McNair, Alex Haley, actor Michael Clarke Duncan, football player Donald Driver, and football head coach Leslie Frazier.
Tuition: $4,858 (in-state); $11,949 (out-of-state)
Enrollment: 2,980 (66% female; 34% male)
Acceptance rate: 34.1%
Four-year graduate rate: 21%
Delaware State University
Year Founded: 1891
The school offers five doctoral degrees (interdisciplinary applied mathematics, mathematical physics, applied chemistry, neuroscience and optics) in addition to doctoral programs in education. It also offers a Minority Access to Research Centers Honors Program that aims to increase students in biomedical research and doctorates in the sciences.
Notable alumni: former U.S. Rep. Wayne Gilchrest, jazz trumpeter Clifford Brown, and NFL sports agent Robert London
Tuition: $6,731 (in-state); $14,310 (out-of-state)
Enrollment: 3,372 (62% female; 38% male)
Acceptance rate: 41.5%
Four-year graduate rate: 19%
Albany State University
Year Founded: 1903
Albany State has a dual-degree program with Georgia Tech and the well-regarded Holley Institute summer program, which provides intense instruction to high school students to prepare them for success at the college. Serving many non-traditional students, the school’s average student age is 24, and only about 40% of the students live in on-campus housing.
Notable alumni: first Black woman to win an Olympic gold medal (1948) Alice Coachman, fifth Black woman in the FBI Jonnie Mae Gibson, baskeball player Caldwell Jones, and Miles College President Albert Sloan
Tuition: $5,802 (in-state); $17,416 (out-of-state)
Enrollment: 4,166 (67% female; 33% male)
Acceptance rate: 55.2%
Four-year graduation rate: 16%
Bowie State University
Year Founded: 1865
Bowie State is the oldest HBCU in Maryland and one of the 10 oldest in the country. It was the first Black university to include overseas studies and was also the first in the nation to offer a bachelor’s degree in pedagogy, the study of child development.
Notable alumni: Toni Braxton, Towanda Braxton, rapper Wale, state senator Gwendolyn T. Britt, and teacher/astronaut Christa McAuliffe, who died on the Challenger space shuttle.
Tuition: $6,153 (in-state); $16,677 (out-of-state)
Enrollment: 4,401 (63% female; 37% male)
Acceptance rate: 51.1%
Four-year graduate rate: 15%
(Source of school statistics: U.S. News & World Report, school Web sites)