The Journal of Blacks in Higher Education recently compiled a list of graduation rates at America’s historically Black colleges and universities of students who entered an HBCU between 2001 and 2004 and earned their degree at the same institution within six years.

The findings are compelling.  Of the 55 top-ranked HBCUs for graduation rates, only four of them graduated more than half of their students:  Spelman College (79%), Howard University (64%), Morehouse College (61%), and Hampton University (54%).  The lowest ranking HBCUs graduated fewer than 20% of their students: Lincoln University (Missouri, 17%), Coppin State University (16%), Rust College (16%), Miles College (16%), Texas Southern University (11%), and University of District of Columbia (10%).

The reason for the declining rates?  Money.  “Many publicly operated HBCUs have seen a decline in state appropriations and cutbacks in state financial aid for college students. Private HBCUs have also faced cutbacks and difficulty in fundraising. This undoubtedly is reflected in lower student graduation rates.”

The Obama Administration has worked to strengthen HBCUs through its HBCU Initiative to help improve graduation rates: