Total HBCU Enrollment Dropped to 20-Year Low in 2019

For the second consecutive year after posting its first enrollment increase since 2011, cumulative attendance for the historically Black college and university sector fell by more than 2,400 students in the 2019-20 academic year.

According to federal data, HBCU enrollment fell to 289,507 students in Fall 2019, down from its 291,987 figure of 2018-19 — a number that is the second-lowest enrollment total for HBCUs since enrolling 275,690 students in 2000.

Black student enrollment at HBCUs fell to 212,581 students, a decline of more than 1,900 students between the 100 federally-recognized HBCUs nationwide from the previous year.

After reaching a record-breaking 326,614 students in 2010, HBCU enrollment dropped for six consecutive years beginning in 2011, reaching a 15-year low of 292,082 students in 2016.

Attrition numbers slowed annually beginning in 2014, as decreases dwindled to just over 1,000 students per year after losing an average of 9,000 students from the nation’s two-year and four-year Black college campuses between 2012 and 2014.

Total HBCU Enrollment
2010 — 326,614
2011 — 323,648
2012 — 312,438
2013 — 303,167
2014 — 294,316
2015 — 293,388
2016 — 292,083
2017 — 298,138
2018 — 291,767
2019 — 289,507