The best colleges for African-American students
Choosing a college is one of the biggest decisions you’ll make in your life. College has a huge impact on you financially, emotionally, socially and academically–and can have a large effect on your future job prospects and earnings.
But no college is right for everyone, and everyone has different ideas about what makes a college best for them.
Rankings based on diversity, affordability & quality
To make it easier for African-Americans to find colleges that fit their needs and preferences, MONEY collaborated with Essence magazine to analyze more than 1,500 four-year colleges to determine which ones offer the best value for African-American students.
The video below explains more about how Time and Essence chose these colleges and why it’s important for African-American students to have this information before choosing a college.
Their criteria included:
- Graduation rates, specifically for black students, since a college’s graduation rate is one of the best measures of how well it’s serving students.
- Affordability, in terms of student and parent borrowing, net prices charged to low-income students, and the average net price a student pays at each college after financial aid has been applied.
- Earnings potential, to figure out which colleges improved graduates’ chances of earning a higher salary.
- Representation, to help point African American students to colleges with greater diversity (colleges with at least 5% African-American students) and help them find a sense of community.
Princeton named top college for African-American students
Here’s the list of the top 15 best colleges for African-Americans, as well as their percentage of African-American students, graduation rates for African-Americans, net price, student debt loads and average early career salaries for graduates:
Princeton University came in first as the top college for African-American Students, followed by Harvard University, and Duke University. Cornell University and Spelman College in Atlanta, GA rounded out the top 5.
Perhaps surprisingly, many Ivy League colleges topped the list, despite not being widely known for their diversity. This is largely due to their high graduation rates among African-American students and their affordability thanks to generous financial aid packages for low-income students.
You can read the full list of the top 50 best colleges for African-American students in this article.