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What are Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs)?

HBCUs are institutions founded primarily for the education of African-Americans, although their charters were not exclusionary. Most HBCUs are 50 to 100 years old; the oldest HBCU dates back to 1837. Of the 105 HBCUs, 17 HBCUs have land-grant status. About 214,000 or 16 percent of all African-American higher education students in the nation are enrolled at HBCUs, which comprise 3 percent of all colleges and universities nation-wide. The National Association for Equal Opportunity in Higher Education (NAFEO) is a professional association that represents the nation's HBCUs.

Summary of Interesting Facts About HBCUs

Type Institution No. of Institutions Per Type Percent of Total HBCUs
4-Year Public 40 38.09%
4-Year Private 49 46.66%
2-Year Public 11 10.48%
2-Year Private 5 4.76%
Total 105 100%

The mission of The White House Initiative Office on Historically Black Colleges and Universities , located at http://www.ed.gov/offices/OPE , is to strengthen the capacity of HBCUs to provide excellence in education.

Related Web Sites

Historically Black Colleges and Universities

The National Association of State Universities and Land-Grant Colleges (NASULGC)

The United Negro College Fund (UNCF) is the nation's oldest and most successful African American higher education assistance organization.

HBCU Network.com

Publications that Serve the HBCU Community

The Chronicle of Higher Education

Black Collegian Magazine

Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) Between DOI and NAFEO

On May 18, 1999, the U.S. Department of the Interior (DOI) and The National Association for Equal Opportunity in Higher Education (NAFEO) entered into a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to develop DOI programs and coordinate Bureau/Office involvement and activities to increase employment, educational, and contracting opportunities in DOI for students and faculty of NAFEO member institutions, and to target DOI resources for strengthening NAFEO and its member institutions. The MOU guides the parties in pursuit of the objectives below:

  • Increase the number of NAFEO member institutions successfully competing for contracts, grants and cooperative agreements to conduct DOI research, technical assistance and development activities;
  • Partner with NAFEO on technical assistance and training programs designed to increase the knowledge base of DOI about HBCUs, and vice-versa;
  • Increase the number of students and faculty from NAFEO member institutions benefitting from education, training, employment, and contracting opportunities at DOI;
  • Increase excess property-acquisition opportunities for NAFEO member institutions;
  • Support participation in NAFEO sponsored programs (e.g., student internships, conferences, technical assistance, research studies, etc.).

DOI/NAFEO Leadership Group

The MOU established a DOI/NAFEO Leadership Group to serve as a governing body for all MOU initiatives. The Leadership Group will implement this MOU by providing guidance, direction, and coordination to ensure that mutual benefits and interests are served. The Leadership Group consists of four NAFEO member institution Presidents and four senior DOI officials.