Upon his death in 1832, the Quaker philanthropist Richard Humphreys bequeathed one-tenth of his estate for the founding of the African Institute. That Pennsylvania academy would eventually become the nation’s first HBCU, Cheyney University. Since that time, Historically Black Colleges and Universities have educated millions, filling a gap caused by racial prejudice and serving as a source of pride for African-Americans and the country at large.
A quick look at the numbers reveals that HBCUs as a class remain on firm financial ground today. According to the National Center for Education Statistics, HBCU enrollment rose 25 percent between 1976 and 2020. Prominent HBCUs like North Carolina A&T and Howard University have seen particular growth in recent semesters, with the former experiencing a rising headcount every