College Completion: Top 10 HBCUs by Graduation Rate

Last Updated on September 16, 2014

Top 10 HBCUs by Graduation Rate: Students assemble outside of the Temple Church Commencement Ceremony on Fisk's University's Historic Campus.
Photo Courtesy of Fisk University

College graduation rates offer valuable information for the prospective student. They indicate how many students enrolled at a particular college actually graduate from that college. While low college graduation rates aren't necessarily a negative sign, students often want to surround themselves with like-minded individuals who are dedicated to obtaining a degree from their chosen school. For these students, choosing a school with high graduation rates is an excellent step. The following are 10 HBCUs with the highest college graduation rates based on the latest available data.

10. Claflin University – Orangeburg, South Carolina

Claflin is a smaller, private college offering Bachelors and Masters degrees. They graduate 44% of students.

9. Jackson State University – Jackson, Mississippi

Jackson State offers Bachelors, Masters and Doctoral degrees. They are located in a city setting on a midsize campus and have a graduation rate of 45%.

8. Tuskegee University – Tuskegee, Alabama

Tuskegee University is located in a town setting on a distant campus. They offer Bachelors, Masters and Doctoral degrees and have a graduation rate of 46%.

7. Xavier University of Louisiana – New Orleans, Louisiana

Located in the heart of New Orleans, Xavier University offers Bachelors, Masters and Doctoral degrees. Xavier's graduation rate is also 51%.

6. Tougaloo College – Tougaloo, Mississippi

Tougaloo College offers both Associates degrees and Bachelor’s degrees. They are located in a city/urban environment on a midsize campus and graduate 51% of students.

5. Fisk University – Nashville, Tennessee

Fisk is situated on a large campus in a city/urban environment. Fisk offers Bachelors and Masters degrees as well as Post-Baccalaureate certificates, and graduates 54% of students.

4. Morehouse College – Atlanta, Georgia

Morehouse is located on a large campus in a city/urban environment. They offer certificates which take less than one year to complete, as well as four-year Bachelor’s degrees. Their graduation rate is 55%.

3. Hampton University – Hampton, Virginia

Located in a city/urban environment on a midsize campus, Hampton University's graduation rate is 59%. They offer certificates as well as Associates, Bachelors, Masters, Professional and Doctoral degrees.

2. Howard University – Washington, D.C.

Howard University offers a city/urban experience on large campus. With a graduation rate of 63%, Howard offers a broad range of certificates, Associates, Bachelors, Masters, Post-Masters and Doctoral degrees.

1. Wilberforce University – Wilberforce, Ohio

Wilberforce, a small, private college in a rural setting, has a graduation rate of 83%. This ranks it 20% higher than the next-highest school. Wilberforce offers both Bachelors and Masters degrees.

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Source: National Center for Education Statistics. The above schools had the highest percentage of full-time, first-time students who graduated or transferred out within 150% of “Normal Time” to completion for their program. The data is based on students who started in fall 2006 over a six year period.

8 thoughts on “College Completion: Top 10 HBCUs by Graduation Rate”

  1. Where is Spelman College? They’ve maintained the highest of graduation rates among HBCUs for sometime.

  2. Where did you find these numbers? Spelman College for years have been ranked at the top. Let me investigate.

  3. I don’t know why Spelman was left out. According to the NCES (the source for schools here) Spelman’s graduation rate is 73%, making it #2 on the list.

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