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The Top HBCUs in Texas

The purpose of historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs) is to provide Black Americans with access to opportunities and education that they were previously denied. Nine of the country’s more than 100 HBCUs are located in the Lone Star State.

The HBCUs in Texas are among the numerous top schools and universities in the state. Attending an HBCU in Texas gives the best of both worlds: the lively experiences Texas has to offer together with the rich cultural, community, and educational benefits of an HBCU. For this reason, even well-known people like Megan Thee Stallion pick an HBCU in Texas.

When selecting an HBCU, you should think about a variety of things, including as tuition and living expenses, the school’s location, graduation rates, and academic programs. Discover the top HBCUs in Texas and what makes them unique by reading the information below.

What are the HBCUs?

African American students had few options for continuing their studies after the Civil War. The government passed the second Morrill Act of 1890, which required states to make land grants to academic institutions serving African Americans, as many schools and universities were refusing to admit people of color. As a result, historically black colleges and universities, or HBCUs, were established. These universities “offered the best, and often the only, opportunity for a higher education” to people of color, according to President George W. Bush.

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Which Institutions Qualify as HBCUs?

Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) are institutions that were founded before the Civil Rights Act of 1964, when school segregation was made unlawful, and were once the principal educational institutions for African Americans, including newly freed slaves following the Civil War. An HBCU must be certified by a globally renowned organization and committed to the education of Black Americans in accordance with the Higher Education Act of 1965. Today’s HBCUs, however, admit students of various racial and ethnic backgrounds; in fact, 24% of students enrolled in HBCUs are not black.

HBCUs provide excellent academic opportunities for students of all races, but evidence indicates that students of color particularly benefit from these possibilities. African American students at HBCUs have a superior support system than those at standard universities, according to a recent Gallup poll. In addition, many claimed to have benefited from the extensive alumni network of the university and experienced greater financial well-being after graduating.

The fact that HBCUs are much less expensive than other colleges and universities is another factor that may influence students’ decision.

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The HBCUs in Texas

1. Prairie View A&M University (PVAMU)

  • Location: Prairie View, Texas
  • Acceptance Rate: 80%
  • Undergraduates Enrolment: 8,109
HBCUs in Texas
Prairie View A&M University (PVAMU)

The second-oldest public university in Texas and the first state-funded institution in the state to serve African Americans, Prairie View A&M University was founded in 1876. Over the course of the university’s approximately 150-year history, more than 46,000 degrees have been granted. Currently, PVAMU is renowned for its excellent academic programs, low student-to-faculty ratio (18:1), Division I athletics, stunning campus, and Panther Lanes (a public bowling alley). PVAMU is one of only four HBCUs to receive the distinction of being an All-Steinway School.

2. Texas Southern University (TSU)

  • Location: Texas, Houston
  • Ratio of acceptance: 91%
  • Enrolment for undergraduates: 7,092

Texas Southern University is a historically Black neighborhood in Houston’s Third Ward. The institution, which houses over 9,500 students and more than 1,000 staff members, is a significant cultural and community hub in Houston. Both its demanding undergraduate programs and its professional schools and graduate programs, such the Thurgood Marshall School of Law, are well known at TSU. TSU is proud of its academics and athletics (they compete in the Division I Southwestern Athletic Conference), but Ocean of Soul, the school’s band, steals the show. Most famously, Ocean of Soul played during the Super Bowl XXXVIII halftime show.

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3. Huston-Tillotson University (HT)

  • Location: Austin, Texas
  • Acceptance Rate: 63%
  • Undergraduates Enrolment: 1,112

The modest, private Huston-Tillotson University has the distinction of being the first university to call the city home, even though it is not as well-known or as big as its Austin neighbor, the University of Texas. The diversity component of HT’s core curriculum is well-known; students must complete six hours of diversity-focused coursework, three of which must have an African/African Diaspora focus. Another of the four HBCUs to receive the distinction of being an All-Steinway School is Huston-Tillotson.

4. Jarvis Christian College

  • Location: Hawkins, Texas
  • Acceptance Rate: 14%
  • Undergraduates Enrollmen: 900

The rural campus of Jarvis Christian College, which is around 100 miles southeast of Dallas, offers a tranquil environment to study while yet being conveniently close to other large cities. Jarvis Christian College, which was founded in 1913 as Jarvis Christian Institute, was inspired by the Southern Christian Institute in Edwards, Mississippi. Since its foundation, it has had a relationship with the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ). The East Texas Natural History Collection Museum is situated on the campus of Jarvis Christian College, which makes the institution well recognized for its teacher certification programs.

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5. Wiley College

  • Location: Marshall, Texas
  • Acceptance Rate: N/A
  • 1,000 undergraduate students
hbcus in texas
Wiley College

Wiley College has been providing faith-based, liberal arts education for close to 150 years. Wiley College was established in 1872 by the Freedman’s Aid Society of the Methodist Episcopal Church. The college is well-known for its debate team, which attracted attention when it debated—and won—the University of Southern California, the reigning national champion, in 1935. The Great Debaters was based on this triumph, and Denzel Washington, who directed and starred in the film, gave $1 million to help the school’s debate team get back on track.

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6. Southwestern Christian College (SwCC)

  • Location: Terrell, Texas
  • Rate of acceptance: N/A
  • Fewer than 200 students are undergraduates

Southwestern Christian College, originally known as the Southern Bible Institute and established in 1948 by Churches of Christ members, is still dedicated to assisting its students in completely comprehending the ideas of “Christian Living.” The university offers two bachelor’s degree programs: one in religious education and one in the Bible. Additionally, it provides a two-year liberal arts associate degree program. One of two remaining octagonal residences in Texas, the Robert A. Terrell mansion is a Texas historic site and can be found on the SwCC campus.

7. Texas College

  • Location: Tyler, Texas
  • Rate of acceptance: N/A
  • 1,000 undergraduate students

In the city of Tyler, 100 miles east of Dallas, is where you’ll find Texas College. The school, which was established in 1894 by a group of pastors from the Christian Methodist Episcopal Church (CME Church), is still connected to the CME Church today. Texas College is a residential institution with a student-faculty ratio of 25:1 and twelve bachelor’s degree programs:

  • Interdisciplinary Studies
  • Mathematics
  • Music
  • Religion
  • Social Work
  • Sociology
  • Biology
  • Business Administration
  • Computer Science
  • Criminal Justice
  • English
  • General Studies

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8. Paul Quinn College

  • Location: Dallas, Texas
  • Acceptance Rate: N/A
  • 500 undergraduate students

Paul Quinn College still offers a faith-based education today. It was founded in 1872 by a group of African Methodist Episcopal Church preachers to educate freed slaves and their children. The “New Urban College Model” financial framework, used by Paul Quinn College since 2015, was created to help students graduate with less than $10,000 in debt from student loans. Paul Quinn is also the first institution serving minorities to join the Work College Consortium and the first member from Texas.

9. St. Philip’s College

  • Location: San Antonio, Texas
  • Rate of acceptance: N/A
  • Enrolment for undergraduates: 7,676

The only college in the US that is acknowledged as both a Historically Black College and a Hispanic Serving Institution (HSI) is St. Philip’s College. St. Philip’s, the westernmost HBCU in Texas (and the US), has a similar history to many other HBCUs in that it was initially founded to educate and train recently liberated slaves. The student-to-faculty ratio at St. Philip’s is 15:1, and there are typically 20.8 pupils in each class. At St. Philip’s College, civic participation is significant. Students take part in a variety of activities, such as the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) Program, the annual Juneteenth Parade, and Jessica’s Project, which links STEM subjects to concerns impacting the neighborhood.

HBCUS IN Texas
HBCUS IN Texas

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Frequently Asked Questions

What is Texas’s first HBCU?

Dallas-based Paul Quinn College was the first HBCU to open in Texas in 1872.

Which HBCU is the most expensive?

One of the most prestigious HBCUs in the nation is Howard University, which is situated in Washington, D.C. It is regrettably also the most expensive. Howard University's annual tuition is just over $28,000, making it unaffordable for many students.

Which HBCU is the smallest in the US?

In 1891, West Virginia State University was founded. West Virginia State University is an HBCU and the smallest land-grant university in the US. It was founded in 1891 as the West Virginia Colored Institute.

Which HBCU has the most attractive women?

University of Hampton. The "Home by the Sea" in Hampton, Virginia is well-known for its stunning campus, Black Harvard heritage, and the most attractive female students in all of HBCU Land.

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