HBCU Rankings 2014: The Top 25 in the Nation by US News

Last Updated on October 23, 2014

Image of female student smiling at her graduation ceremony at a top 25 HBCU.
Photo credit: Tuskegee University

To see the latest rankings, visit the HBCU Rankings 2015 list.

This U.S. News & World Report has released its 2014 edition of the Best Colleges Report. Included are several ranking lists. Among them is the HBCU rankings. It is important to note that a total of 70 of the 105+ HBCUs are ranked on this list. According to the publication's ranking methodology, there are a total of 81 eligible HBCUs and of them — 11 HBCUs were unranked. Visit the US News and World Report's HBCU Rankings Methodology for more details.

The ranking data includes tuition, enrollment, retention, graduation rates, and college admission test scores. The HBCU rankings list does not reflect the opinions or views of HBCU Lifestyle. Students interested in attending HBCUs should consult with parents, guidance counselors, teachers, and mentors to help in selecting the HBCU that is the right fit for them. Start by visiting the prospective university with family or registering for an HBCU College Tour.

HBCU Rankings 2014:

Spelman College
Atlanta, GA
Morehouse College
Atlanta, GA
Howard University
Washington, DC
Fisk University
Nashville, TN
Tuskegee University
Tuskegee, AL
Xavier University of Louisiana
New Orleans, LA
Claflin University
Orangeburg, SC
North Carolina A&T State University
Greensboro, NC
Clark Atlanta University
Atlanta, GA
Delaware State University
Dover, DE
Florida A&M University
Tallahassee, FL
Dillard University
New Orleans, LA
North Carolina Central University
Durham, NC
Johnson C. Smith University
Charlotte, NC
Tennessee State University
Nashville, TN
Tougaloo College
Tougaloo, MS
Winston-Salem State University
Winston-Salem, NC
Elizabeth City State University
Elizabeth City, NC
Morgan State University
Baltimore, MD
Alabama A&M University
Normal, AL
Lincoln University
Lincoln University, PA
Bennett College
Greensboro, NC
Oakwood University
Huntsville, AL
South Carolina State University
Orangeburg, SC
Bowie State University
Bowie, MD
Fayetteville State University
Fayetteville, NC
Jackson State University
Jackson, MS
Kentucky State University
Frankfort, KY


Source: U.S. News & World Report, 2014 Historically Black Colleges and Universities Ranking. For the full list of the HBCU rankings visit: http://colleges.usnews.rankingsandreviews.com/best-colleges/rankings/hbcu.

106 thoughts on “HBCU Rankings 2014: The Top 25 in the Nation by US News”

  1. Doesnt seem to far off with the exception of Lincoln University. One of the most unorganized and unprofessional colleges on the list.

  2. I agree with Jermaine in regards to Lincoln. I have been trying to set up a tour and receive information for my daughter since last school year.

  3. Your ranking and the actually USNews ranking doesn’t correlate. USNews has a 3-way tie for #9 between CAU, Del State, and FAMU. Your list doesn’t reflect this and is misleading.

  4. Congratulations to my Alma Mater, Tougaloo College, # 16 on US News top 25 HBCU for 2014. Although I believe Tougaloo should be further up the list, this is a great acknowledgement for this Great Institution. Proud to be an alumnus of this HBCU. Keep it Moving Eagle Queen!

  5. John "stump" Henry(from Alcorn State U)


    Either US News Rankings are off or my school has embarrassed me completely. I don’t see how one school that was ranked Top of the class one year is not listed at all on the following year. But then again, I may need to go back and see the methodology of how my school was selected previously and then compare to this report. However, I think the world would notice had there been such an immediate failure of success which is why I’m not going to point a finger but try to dig a littler deeper to get results. I appreciated the person(s) for putting this together but I’m still puzzled at the fact that no chart was put in place over a “selected range of years” to meet the outcome of the reported list of schools. With so many concerns piling up, I would briefly describe in a more simple yet concise matter of how you came about this list. For example, “The data that were used in the HCBU rankings – except the peer survey results, which used a separate HBCU peer assessment survey – were the same as those published and used in the 2014 edition of the Best Colleges rankings. The U.S. News rankings system rests on two pillars: It relies on quantitative measures that education experts have proposed as reliable indicators of academic quality, and it’s based on our nonpartisan view of what matters in education. The indicators we use to capture academic quality fall into six categories: assessment by administrators at peer institutions, retention of students, faculty resources, student selectivity, financial resources and alumni giving.
    To view a comparison chart of how the schools are ranked would make my understanding less challenging. These types of things would make it a lot easier to believe what the media has placed in the hands of the World Wide Web is in fact true instead of misleading. No pun intended. #Just curious about the holes in this logic.

  6. B. Jefferson (CLAFLIN UNIVERSITY)

    Very excited to see Claflin University on this list. Dr. Tisdale has done a marvelous job with this university. When I enrolled in 2001 coming from FAMU it seemed as if it was night and day but I quickly learned that Claflin is the best kept secret in the south. Many may have not heard of the university but they are trailblazers and they are changing the way that other HBCUs do their business. SC State can directly link their recent success to Claflin. The state was so embarrassed that a private funded Methodist college could out do a state college that they eventually declared a state of emergency and righted the ship at SC state. I’m so proud of my university!!! STAND UP CU!!!

  7. Why not rank all the HBCU’s from top to bottom. I believe its important and needed to show the strengths among all schools competing for students and financial aid and what each institution offers. I’m a graduate of Miles College, Fairfield, Al. Dr. French has provided a great service for Miles College and the community bring monies and national recognition to Miles College. Miles has experienced increase enrollment and graduation rates. So let’s look at the progress of all HBCU’s and give each college and university a fair change in the rankings.

  8. Happy to see my school! (JCSU) Johnson C. Smith University! Golden Bulls. And shout out to the NC HBCU’s. Congrats to the other HBCU’s too!

  9. Tennessee State University stand up! Good but not great. #17 is cool but I want to be top 10. Still love my alma mater.

  10. Glad to see Xavier University, and Dillard University on this list. I am an alum of Xavier University, and I’m glad that things seem to be getting better down there, and everything. Same goes for Dillard, and stuff. At the end of the day, I could have ended up at any of these Universities.

  11. Big shout out to my Alma Mater Winston-Salem State University on the list, great school! Great times! Love my HBCU. HAPPY THANKSGIVING TO ALL MY RAMS! Continued high college rankings, CIAA consecutive Champs and Red Sea of Sound 4th year in the Honda Battle of the Bands, we continue to do great things !

  12. Rise up Dillard Bleu Devils! The post-K recovery has been a long, hard journey and there are clear, tangible signs of success. Dillard is the place where students are prepared to meaningfully contribute in many fields of endeavor around the globe. My support has been matched with my money! I encourage all DU alums to do the same.

  13. Can’t believe my Alma Mater is 25 that’s shocking looking at all the things that have gone on at Kentucky State within the last few years and months smh; if the people who made the list used opnions and reviews I hate to say it we would probably be ranked much lower

  14. Happy to see Dillard and Xavier on the list. As a graduate of Dillard, I feel some type of way when people say, “Where is Dillard?”

  15. Proud graduate of Fisk University class of 1993. …Fisk our alma mater stands majestic dear old gold and blue! Wonderful school and wonderful academics. Will prepare you to be a force to reckon with. Keep the torch high!

  16. I didnt atted an HBCU, but I am excited to see Claflin University (SC) in the top 10. They deserve that and more! President Tisdale and the rest of the faculty and staff there have done some miraculous things with the institution.

  17. This list is off somehow “Hampton University” is not listed anywhere and that’s very odds ……as it tops the list of all rankings and recognition in 2013!! It did’nt even make this list at all this is a joke ……lol!!

  18. NC A&T SU in the top ten!!. I’m proud to know they are still doing great things and being recognized for it. When I was there in the early 2000s we were featured in Time magazine as the number one producer of black engineers in the country. So I’m not surprise they made this list. AGGIE PRIDE!!!!

  19. Congratulations to the top 25 Schools listed. As graduate and supporter of HBCU’s proud that these great institutions of higher learning continue to strive.

  20. I am Chairmen of the NYC Omega BCT. While I have not attended an HBCU, I rely on this data in discussions with our scholars including my own son who is an Aggie. There should be an explanation when significant changes are made to the list. Hampton University was previously ranked as high as #4. I am sure there is a good reason why they are no longer ranked. Since they held a prominent prior rank, the exclusion should be footnoted.

  21. I was a HBCU supporter until I attended Southern U! Left a horrible taste in my mouth ak bad, after a year I went to my State University! Wish I saw this list first…don’t know if it existed then.

  22. I agree. I am a proud graduate of Tuskegee University. But I stand behind my sister school and feel it should be in here.

  23. Dear All,
    My son is a freshman at Hampton University and earlier this year, the school President told the parents why they’re not on this list. Apparently, a former faculty member filled out the USNWR paperwork incorrectly but we all know that Hampton doesn’t need a list to prove what an amazing school it is. Bravo to Dr. Harvey, faculty and students for their continued excellence and achievement each and every year and decade. Proud parent of Hampton student!

  24. I’m not to sure how this ranking was conducted and who was behind it (individuals not organization). Yes I will look at the methodology posted but what has me curious is the fact that two (2) Liberal Arts Schools (yet great schools) seem to always trump the list.

    When I look at the MEAC Schools, I look at their Research Status based on the Carnegie Research Status or RU/H (Research University with high activity), their Baccalaureate Schools, Masters Universities, Doctoral Research Universities (DRU) and student enrollment over 5000+.

    Hampton, Howard, FAMU, NCCU, NCAT, SC State, U of M Eastern Shore and a few more. Very Interesting…

  25. Uncle C is a proud graduate of Tuskegee University. Home of one the top Engineering Schools (Mechanical, Electrical, Aeronautical, Chemical and Architecture) in the nation as well as Nursing/Occupational Therapy, Military Science (Army, Navy, and Air Force) and School of Veterinarian Medicine.

  26. Yes ma’am you are correct! Hampton Univetsity doesn’t need a list to prove how outstanding the university and it’s students are. The error will be corrected. No worries at all. Happy to see the colleges that made the list. But so very proud of my HU (Hampton University) daughter..Biology Major..Sophomore. .on the Pre Med track. Quintessence 9 (QT9)

  27. Yes ma’am you are correct! Hampton Univetsity doesn’t need a list to prove how outstanding the university and it’s students are. The error will be corrected. No worries at all. Happy to see the colleges that made the list. But so very proud of my HU (Hampton University) daughter..Bio Major..Sophomore. .on the Pre Med track. Quintessence 9 (QT9)

  28. Happy to see Bennett College for Women on the list. Class of 1988 was the best. Remembering great times at Morehouse and NC A&T. Congrats to all schools listed.

  29. @JayCee I currently attend Hampton University. The University sent out an email saying that someone on their staff did something to make HU in eligible for ranking this year.

  30. So glad we made the right decision! Extremely gratifying to see JCSU on the list!! Expect great things from the class of 2016! #GoldenBulls
    A’keila Monae Benson

  31. Someone who attends Hampton said that someone on the staff did something that rendered Hampton ineligible for inclusion.

  32. The link you provided was not to rankings by U.S. News & World Report but to a list/rankings of a completely different source/organization.

  33. So glad to see my school Elizabeth City State University on the list! As a proud Viking gradute I am thankful for the educational foundation I received down in the ENC. Class of ‘ 02 stand up!

  34. Lincoln University of PA is most definitely a WORTHY component to be on this list! As a matter of fact if there were no Lincoln University THE FIRST HBCU then there would be no relevance of these other school. Hail hail Lincoln!!! Class of 2008!!!!!!

  35. 3 schools of the Atlanta University Center made top 10. Congratulations from Nigeria to Spellman College, Morehouse College, and mine oh mine dearest Clark-Atlanta University – my Graduate school! Oh! Congratulation to the City of Atlanta for harboring these 3 top 10s.in the lot.

  36. It’s really difficult to measure the schools’ rankings in the Atlanta Univetsity Center. I say this because, after your freshman year,the colleges in the AU Center allow you to take needed classes on one another’s campus (if you have to) and beileve me, a lot of students take classes on one another’s campus. Spelman’s academic ranking may be higher than Morehouse or Clark Atlanta’s, but when instructors are teaching students (depending on one’s major), a certain percentage of their class may actually be made up of students from the other colleges within the AUC, not “just” from whoever the particular host school is. And we know that these students make up the best and the brightest of students from everywhere.

  37. Speaking as a current Spelman student, the regulations for both my major and minor courses are that courses offered at Morehouse and Clark absolutely are not counted towards requirements for graduation. Auxiliary courses at other institutions can only count as electives for most majors so a lot of students don’t even bother. I will be graduating in May and I have never set foot in another institution’s classroom; I am far from an anomaly in that regard. In reality, the “certain percentage” is normally 0-3 students in a class of 30 and the ranking methodology for these lists don’t seem to have anything to do with the ability to sit in another institution’s classroom. Give credit where credit is due.

  38. I’m proud my alma mata Tennessee State is there, but my daughter’s college Hampton U is not there. That ain’t right!

  39. Better day coming

    HBCU’s have distinct missions relative to other universities. They ought be assessed against the mission to which they are given. But then different institutions also have unique purposes against which they ought be measured. For example, the closest high-ranking institution to me is Tuskegee. It is amazing to me to engage the lives of Booker T and George W C and not be inspired by their desire to take what was in their hands and create a better life. And now, many decades later, the county is still dirt poor. It looks to me like many large leading urban research universities–decade after decade studying the decimated places in which they exist and delivering no benefit.

  40. Glad to see CAU is on the rise. Not too long ago (1-5 yrs ago), it was in the bottom 5…when I enrolled at CAU in the Fall of ’04, it was ranked in the top 5 I believe…

  41. Where is Alabama State University, its a pretty good school too and graduate great student, this list is way off.

  42. Hmmmmm?! North Carolina A&T ranks at #8……

    Well, I guess being named as the top HBCU for graduating Engineers, Business professionals and Technological degree recipients doesn’t weigh much when taking a “poll.”

  43. Way to go Bennett College! Continue to strive for success. Congratulations to the other HBCUs listed. No matter the ranking, we are all here to serve the same purpose.

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  45. Okay, but now why is Fisk at the number 5 spot? This is questionable if you are familiar with this institution today. ijs

  46. My mistake. I have not had coffee this morning. I meant to ask why is Fisk at number 4. This does not make sense.

  47. Sorry for the two people who might have had a minor issue with Lincoln. But LU earned its way on the list. The 1st HBCU and the university continues to produce world leaders. Do a little more research. I know; I am an alumni (Class of 98). I am currently a Vice President at an international non profit organization. I also founded and serve as CEO for my own company Vintage 1854, LLC. My company’s other three partners are also Lincoln alumni. I learned this and much more at Lincoln. My professors are still a part of my life at 38 years old. Hail Hail Lincoln!

  48. There is nothing like a HBCU experience in undergrad!!! While I want them all to thrive, I always tell people that all HBCU’S ARE NOT created equal!!! Without a doubt, some are better than others!!! I’m proud to be a graduate for The MECCA, HOWARD UNIVERSITY, Class of 1994!!!!!

  49. Proud mother of a Spelmanite! It is truly worth every penny. They transform girls into a lady, almost instantaneously. As a parent, and graduate of an HBCU, I wish every HBCU had the same core principles. As they say “when and where she enters, is when the world changes”.

  50. I would love to see a list created based off of which alumni base donates the most money back to their institution. I wonder who puts their money where their pride is….

  51. Go Dillard ! I am a soon DU ALUM this coming commencement! In addition, I have been in N.O. since pre- Katrina and witnessed the process to get back where Dillard used to be ! Greater things to come most definitely out of Dillard and shout out to our rival Xavier Univ.

  52. Jermaine and Nichole,

    Sorry for your experience with our admissions dept. The Lincoln University is in transformation mode to become an even better university. If you are still interested send me an email- tony.zanfordino@gmail.com (subject line- The Lincoln University) and I will personally reach out to someone in Admissions for follow-up.

    I am a graduate of the Class of ’91. The Lincoln University produces leaders. It was the best experience for me. Still work to do, but our alumni are on the journey to take it back to #1.

  53. Glad to see Bowie still in top 25 (barely) we have come a long way! Shout out to the other CIAA schools. We get overlooked a lot due to being right up the road from Howard. Bowie is an awesome institution that deserves a second look when choosing a HBCU. To Hampton supporters…..I will argue that Hampton should be on this list in the top 10 however, if the school is aa great as we know it is then why wasn’t there checks and balances in place to make sure the paper work was filled out correctly? To all Lincoln supporters. …. i love LU we always had a good relationship with your school but how is it that Cheyney was founded in 1937 and Lincoln was founded in 1954 but you always claim to be the first HBCU? (I’m not hating I’m just asking)

  54. Marjorie A Craig

    This is a most insightful comment, and one that if studied closely by those of us who want to transform our communities could yield a bountiful harvest. First, It points out the huge disconnect between the two communities; the academic and the surrounding community. Second, it raises a question of the roles of the academic community; does it include one that reflects service and education within the greater community? For example, do any of the business classes include clinical placement and projects with local businesses? Do any of the majors include any educational service with the community? Tuskegee’s curriculum reflects the STEM disciplines; any planned effort to assist the average youth there with a stronger background in math, or computer skills?
    Many thanks to the person who shared this observation.
    Dr. Carver’s teachings included community education as he went from farm to farm or field to field teaching.

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  56. Glad to see my alma mater on the list, ECSU. To think that the state of NC targeted it for closure, shame on the state…

  57. Hampton has been consistently ranked 3 or 4 on this list for the last decade. It is unbelievable thatthat Hampton University has been completely removed from the list. Without Hampton University on this list I question its validity.

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