the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching: national universities, national liberal arts colleges, regional universities and regional liberal arts colleges.
Adds LaVeist: “People are going to look at the list and focus on where they are placed, but that’s not what this is about. This list says that out of a universe of more than 3,000 schools, these 50, plus the honorable mentions, have fostered a great reputation among black educators and have done a good job of graduating students. Any school on this list should be proud-no matter where they are on it.”
WHO’S NO. 1?
When Audrey Forbes Manley, M.D. was inaugurated as president of Spelman College this pas October, officially taking the reins of the all-woman’s college in Atlanta, she knew she’d become guardian of one of the most respected institutions of higher learning in America. After all, she is a graduate of Spelman, has served as a trustee on its board and is the widow of its fifth president. Now, the former U.S. Assistant Surgeon General has come home to serve as the bridge from Spelman’s past into its future and as its first alumna president.
“Spelman has changed in significant ways since I was a student. The student body is larger, there’s more diversity of interests and involvement of the students and the city of Atlanta has changed too,” says Manley. “But in all that, the Spelman woman has not changed. The same kind of bright, talented and intelligent women that were attracted to Spelman 50 years ago are still attracted today.”
As a testament to that interest, the colleg
e received 33,000 inquiries last year; it selected only 550 for its 1998-99 incoming freshman class from more than 4,000 applicants. Women in its entering freshman class boast an average GPA of 3.4 with a composite SAT score of 1106. Today, 37% enter Spelman majoring in the sciences.
Cited by other surveys as one of the top regional liberal arts colleges in the country, Spelman is the No. 1 school on our list. The school’s reputation has been enhanced over the past 10 years by Manley’s predecessor, Johnnetta B. Cole, Ph.D. Under Cole, the school’s endowment increased to $170 million-the second largest of any HBCU. She added to its infrastructure with the Camille Olivia Hanks Cosby Academic Center and obtained funding to build a new science building which broke ground this past October.
But Spelman is not alone. HBCUs claim nine of the top 10 spots on our list. In addition to Spelman, two other Atlanta University Center schools-Morehouse College, Spelman’s all-male counterpart, and co-ed Clark Atlanta University-join Florida A&M University in Tallahassee and Washington, D.C.’s, Howard University to round out the top five schools on the BLACK ENTERPRISE/DAYSTAR TOP 50 list. ”
The competitiveness of HBCUs is underscored by one of the most impressive finds of this effort: while HBCUs were only 10% of all the colleges surveyed by LaVeist, they represent nearly 50% of the schools on the BLACK ENTERPRISE/DAYSTAR TOP 50 list.
While 35% of black students go to HBCUs;