The Journal of Blacks in Higher Education last week reported on the sizable increase in five-year graduation rates at many historically black colleges and universities. Using data compiled by the NCAA, the report cites increases at several public and private historically black institutions over a 13-year span. From the report:
“Financial factors are undoubtedly a major factor in the low graduation rates at many of the nation’s historically Black colleges and universities. Despite these factors that tend to put a drag on graduation rates, many HBCUs have made tremendous progress in recent years in increasing the graduation rates of their African American students.”
JBHE lists graduation rates from 1998 to 2006, and from 2006 to 2011 in its report, and suggests that economic hardship for black families during the downturn of 2010 may be a factor in the drop for many institutions.
Six of the top ten institutions with the greatest gains are public HBCUs, a statistic which underscores increased efforts from many HBCUs to secure more federal funding for retention and recruitment programming and faculty enhancement.