Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) were established to provide to places for freed slaves to earn a quality education. These institutions continue to provide the necessary access to higher education to first-generation and low-income students today.

Today, there are roughly 101 HBCUs across the U.S. granting degrees to students of all racial and ethnic backgrounds. Many of the schools continue to manage to keep costs low despite having smaller endowments.

HBCUs play a pivotal role in American society, representing about 3 percent of two-year and four-year public and private nonprofit institutions that participate in federal student financial aid programs, but award 17 percent of all bachelor’s degrees earned by black students. Over the last 20 years, HBCUs have also played a major role in graduating black students with bachelor’s degrees in STEM fields.

Here are ten public and private HBCUs with the lowest tuition costs for in-state and out-of-state students, roughly range no more than $23,000 an academic year, including fees. Data were evaluated and pulled from the 2019-2020 cost of attendance charts from the institution websites.

Mississippi Valley State University
Itta Bena, MS
In-state tuition: $3,373 (Non-boarding)
Out-of-state tuition: $7,437 (Boarding – Standard)

Founded in 1950, MVSU provides comprehensive undergraduate and graduate programs in education, the arts and sciences, and professional studies. The University is driven by its commitment to excellence in teaching, learning, service, and research.

Fort Valley State University
Fort Valley, GA
In-state tuition: $4, 024
Out-of-state tuition: $10,725

FVSU is the only University in the world which at once is a University of System of Georgia institution, a HBCU, and an 1890 land-grant institution. Since 1895, the University prepares students to embrace their genius as future global leaders and enabling discovery which will make real that only now imagined.

Wiley College
Marshall, Texas
Off-Campus (Non-Boarding): $6,576.00
On-Campus (Boarding): $10,118.00

Wiley College, founded in 1873 in Marshall, Texas, is a historically black, primarily liberal arts, residential, co-educational baccalaureate degree-granting institution affiliated with the United Methodist Church. The faculty provides a rigorous curriculum for preparing graduates for professional or graduate studies and/or productive careers in traditional and emerging career fields.

Elizabeth City State University
Elizabeth City, North Carolina
In-state tuition: $6,606.69 (Non-Boarding)
Out-of-state tuition: $19, 233.96 (Boarding)

Elizabeth City State University provides affordable academic programs and services of exceptional caliber in a nurturing environment. The University will attract and retain a diverse and highly qualified faculty that will educate and lead students to become productive members of a global and increasingly interdependent society. ECSU continues to be a leading partner in enhancing educational and cultural opportunities and improving the economic strength in the region.

Claflin University
Orangeburg, SC
Off-Campus (Non-Boarding): $8,504.00
On-Campus (Boarding): $13,282.00

Founded in 1869, Claflin is committed to providing students with access to exemplary educational opportunities in its undergraduate, graduate and continuing education programs. Claflin is dedicated to providing a student-centered, liberal arts education grounded in cutting-edge research, experiential learning, state-of-the art technology, community service, and life-long personal and professional fulfillment.

Clinton College
Rock Hill, SC
Off-Campus (Non-Boarding): $10,020.00
On-Campus (Boarding): $19,721.00

Since 1894, Clinton College has sought to “design and implement an educational program that will help all students lead moral, spiritual and productive lives.” Since we believe that those goals are best achieved by persons whose education is holistic and inquiry based in nature, Clinton College has consistently maintained a liberal arts agenda as its primary focus.

Voorhees College
Denmark, SC
Off-Campus (Non-Boarding):
$12, 630
On-Campus (Boarding): $19,976

Voorhees College is a four-year, co-educational, career–oriented liberal arts college affiliated with the Episcopal Church and the United Negro College Fund. Voorhees College is fully accredited by the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools to award bachelor’s degrees.

Talladega College
Talladega, AL
Off-Campus (Non-Boarding): $13,846.00
On-Campus (Boarding): $20,701.00

Talladega College is an institution rich in history whose mission is to equip its graduates for the global community through academic excellence, moral values, community service and professional development. Talladega College is dedicated to producing well rounded leaders who think independently, who are self-assured, and who are committed to intellectual growth and service to their community.

Edward Waters College
Jacksonville, FL
Off-Campus (Non-Boarding):
On-Campus (Boarding): $22,888

Edward Waters College is a small, Christian, Historically Black, urban liberal arts college that offers quality baccalaureate programs. The College strives to prepare students holistically to advance in a global society through the provision of intellectually stimulating programs, and an environment that emphasizes high moral and spiritual values in keeping with the African Methodist Episcopal Church. Edward Waters College seeks to develop excellence in scholarship, research and service for the betterment of humanity.

Harris-Stowe State University
St. Louis, MO
In-state tuition: $16,674.89
Out-of-state tuition: $21,306.80

Harris-Stowe State University is strongly committed to providing a high quality education experience that is both affordable and accessible to the diverse populations within and beyong the metropolitan St. Louis region. The University emphasis on professional growth and personal development that is essential for an educated person entering a professional field.

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