Last Updated on December 17, 2022 by Omoyeni Adeniyi

When it comes to HBCUs, the University of Texas at Austin is tops in the state for African-American students. There are about 375 Black and African-American freshman enrolled on the campus out of a total of 6,000 freshmen – and that number continues to grow.

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The 9 HBCUs in Texas: Which One is Right for You?

There are 107 schools identified by the U.S. Department of Education as Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs), 104 of which are currently operational.

There are nine HBCUs in Texas, representing just under 10% of all the nation’s HBCUs. Texas trails just Alabama (16), Georgia (12), and North Carolina (12) in states with the most HBCUs. 

If you’re interested in attending an HBCU in Texas, keep reading to learn more about these important institutions. 

The 9 HBCUs in Texas

1. Prairie View A&M University (PVAMU)

Location: Prairie View, TX

Acceptance rate: 80%

Undergraduate enrollment: 8,109

Established in 1876, Prairie View A&M University has the distinction of being the second-oldest public institution of higher education in Texas and the first state-supported college in Texas for African Americans. Over the university’s nearly 150-year history, it has awarded more than 46,000 degrees. Today PVAMU is known for its top-notch education, low student-to-faculty-ratio (18:1), Division I athletics, gorgeous campus, and Panther Lanes (a community bowling center). PVAMU is also one of just four HBCUs with the honor of being designated an All-Steinway School.

2. Texas Southern University (TSU)

Location: Houston, TX

Acceptance rate: 91%

Undergraduate enrollment: 7,092

Located in the heart of Houston’s Third Ward, a predominantly Black community, is Texas Southern University. Home to more than 9,500 students and over 1,000 faculty members, the university plays an important role as a cultural and community center in Houston. TSU is known equally well for its rigorous undergraduate programs and its professional schools and graduate programs, such as the Thurgood Marshall School of Law. While TSU is proud of their academics and athletics (they play in the Division I Southwestern Athletic Conference), the school’s band, Ocean of Soul, steals the spotlight—most notably, Ocean of Soul performed during the halftime show of Super Bowl XXXVIII.

3. Huston-Tillotson University (HT)

Location: Austin, TX

Acceptance rate: 63%

Undergraduate enrollment: 1,112

While not as large or recognizable as its Austin neighbor, the University of Texas, the small, private, Huston-Tillotson University does have the distinction of being the first institution of higher learning to call the city home. HT’s core curriculum is known for its diversity component—students are required to take six hours of diversity-focused courses, three of which must have an African/African Diaspora focus. Huston-Tillotson is another one of the four HBCUs that have the honor of being named an All-Steinway School.

4. Jarvis Christian College

Location: Hawkins, TX

Acceptance rate: 14%

Undergraduate enrollment: 900

Located about 100 miles southeast of Dallas, Jarvis Christian College’s rural campus provides a peaceful place to study while offering easy access to more metropolitan areas. Established in 1913, Jarvis Christian College began as Jarvis Christian Institute and was modeled after the Southern Christian Institute of Edwards, Mississippi. It has been affiliated with the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) since its inception. The school is known for its teacher certification programs and the fact that the East Texas Natural History Collection Museum is found on the Jarvis Christian College’s campus.

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5. Wiley College

Location: Marshall, TX

Acceptance rate: N/A

Undergraduate enrollment: 1,000

Founded in 1872 by the Freedman’s Aid Society of the Methodist Episcopal Church on the tenets of scholarship and service, Wiley College has been delivering faith-based, liberal arts education for almost 150 years. The college is known for its debate team, which earned national attention when it debated—and defeated—the University of Southern California (the defending national champion) in 1935. This victory inspired the movie The Great Debaters and led the movie’s director/star, Denzel Washington, to donate $1 million to revive the school’s debate team. 

6. Southwestern Christian College (SwCC)

Location: Terrell, TX

Acceptance rate: N/A

Undergraduate enrollment: under 200

Founded in 1948 by members of the Churches of Christ as the Southern Bible Institute, Southwestern Christian College remains committed to helping its students fully understand the concepts of “Christian Living.” The school offers two bachelor’s degree programs: one in the Bible, the other in religious Education. It also offers a two-year associate degree program in liberal arts. On SwCC’s campus, you’ll find the Robert A. Terrell home, a Texas historic landmark, and one of just two octagonal houses left in Texas.

7. Texas College

Location: Tyler, TX

Acceptance rate: N/A

Undergraduate enrollment: 1,000

Texas College is located 100 miles east of Dallas in the city of Tyler. Founded in 1894 by a group of Christian Methodist Episcopal Church (CME Church) ministers, the school still remains affiliated with the CME Church today. Texas College is a residential college with a 25:1 student-to-faculty ratio that offers 12 bachelor’s degrees:

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

8. Paul Quinn College

Location: Dallas, TX

Acceptance rate: N/A

Undergraduate enrollment: 500

Originally established by a group of African Methodist Episcopal Church preachers to educate freed slaves and their children in 1872, Paul Quinn College continues today to deliver a faith-based education. Since 2015, Paul Quinn College has operated under a financial structure—called the “New Urban College Model—designed to allow students to graduate with less than $10,000 in student loan debt. Paul Quinn is also the first member of the Work College Consortium from Texas, as well as the first Minority Serving Institution to join the group. 

9. St. Philip’s College

Location: San Antonio, TX

Acceptance rate: N/A

Undergraduate enrollment: 7,676

St. Philip’s College is the only college in the nation to be recognized as both a Historically Black College and a Hispanic Serving Institution (HSI). The westernmost HBCU in Texas (and the nation), St. Philip’s shares a history similar to many other HBCUs—it was originally established to educate and train recently emancipated slaves. St. Philip’s has a student-to-faculty ratio of 15:1 and an average class size of 20.8 students. Civic engagement plays an important role at St. Philip’s College; students participate in everything from a Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) Program to an annual Juneteenth Parade to Jessica’s Project—a program connecting STEM topics to issues affecting the local community.

If you’re planning on applying to an HBCU in Texas, or anywhere else, jumpstart your application process by reading our blog post, A Guide to the Common Black College Application

cheapest hbcu in texas

Established shortly before the Civil War in Pennsylvania and Ohio, low-cost historically black colleges and universities (or also known as HBCUs) were originally developed to provide a quality education for black students during a time of racial discrimination. Most began as training for clergy or teaching positions. Now, they have expanded their academic disciplines and boast a diverse student body–but with a common goal of producing tomorrow’s leaders. Below, we’ve listed the US’s best and most affordable HBCUs in order of descending tuition costs, with the lowest tuition ranking #1 (according to data presented by the National Center for Education Statistics).

#10 Kentucky State University

Frankfort, Kentucky

Student-Faculty Ratio: 12 to 1

Enrollment: 1,778

50 Most Affordable Historically Black Colleges and Universities - Kentucky State University

Beginning in 1886 as the State Normal School for Colored Persons, Kentucky State University began as a training school for black teachers. Now, the school has expanded and grown to accommodate a diverse student body ready to compete in the global marketplace. Students can choose areas of discipline from KSU’s 5 Colleges:

  • College of Agriculture, Communities, and the Environment
  • College of Humanities and Social Sciences 
  • College of Business and Computational Sciences
  • College of Natural, Applied, and Health Sciences
  • College of Public Service and Leadership Studies

Students have access to a variety of academic, career, and health-related student support services. Kentucky State University is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges to award associate, baccalaureate, master’s, and the doctor of nursing practice degree. 

Net-Price Tuition: $10,298

#9 West Virginia State University

Institute, West Virginia

Student-Faculty Ratio: 19 to 1

Enrollment: 3,692

50 Most Affordable Historically Black Colleges and Universities - West Virginia State University

With a 125-year tradition of excellent higher education, West Virginia State University is a low-cost HBCU in Institute, West Virginia. Students can choose between 23 Bachelor’s degrees and 7 Master’s degrees. Popular major options include Chemistry, Education, Political Science, Sports Studies, and Engineering. Graduate studies include options like Biotechnology, Media Studies, Criminal Justice Administration, Computer Science, Instructional Leadership, and more. WVSU is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

Net-Price Tuition: $9,860

#8 Central State University

Wilberforce, Ohio

Student-Faculty Ratio: 15 to 1

Enrollment: 2,099

50 Most Affordable Historically Black Colleges and Universities - Central State University

Established in 1890 as a Land-Grant University, Central State University is a cheap HBCU located in Ohio. There are campus locations in Dayton and Xenia. One interesting feature of the school is its 3-year Bachelor degree programs. Note, this will be an accelerated program that will take an immense amount of focus. Options for the 3-year degrees include: Business Administration, Accounting, and Political Science. Students will have support from the school’s undergraduate Student Success Center. CSU is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission. In addition, four colleges have specific program accreditations as well.

Net-Price Tuition: $9,778

#7 Coppin State University

Baltimore, Maryland

Student-Faculty Ratio: 13 to 1

Enrollment: 2,738

50 Most Affordable Historically Black Colleges and Universities - Coppin State University

An affordable HBCU in Baltimore, Coppin State University has 120 years of experience in providing a quality education for its students. Majors are available in 53 areas, as well as 9 graduate degrees. The school also offers flexible course delivery methods through traditional, night, weekend, on-campus, and distance learning options. Undergraduate programs include Biology, Accounting, Dance, Education, Management, Nursing, and more. Master’s degree options include Alcohol and Substance Abuse Counseling, Adult and Continuing Education, Criminal Justice, to name a few. CSU is accredited by the Middle State Commission to Higher Education.

Net-Price Tuition: $9,689

#6 Bluefield State College

Bluefield, West Virginia

Student-Faculty Ratio: 12 to 1

Enrollment: 1,275

50 Most Affordable Historically Black Colleges and Universities - Bluefield State College

If you’re looking for an affordable HBCU in West Virginia, take a good look at Bluefield State College. Both the U.S News and World Report and Fulbright program confirm its excellence through the school’s ranking and recognition. Students can choose majors from 5 different colleges: Arts & Sciences, Education, Business, Engineering Technology & Computer Science, and Nursing & Allied Health. Both on-campus and online programs are available. BSC is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

Net-Price Tuition: $9,619

#5 Savannah State University

Savannah, Georgia

Student-Faculty Ratio: 17 to 1

Enrollment: 4,077

50 Most Affordable Historically Black Colleges and Universities - Savannah State University

Established in 1890, Savannah State University is the oldest public HBCU in the state of Georgia. SSU is a student-centered institution of higher learning that celebrates the African-American tradition as well as diversity. Students can choose undergraduate majors from 4 Colleges: Business Administration, Liberal Arts & Social Sciences, Sciences & Technology, and Education. Graduate-level degrees are available for students desiring to continue their education. Savannah State University is accredited by the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools to award the associate, baccalaureate and master’s degrees.

Net-Price Tuition: $9,477

#4 North Carolina A & T State University

Greensboro, North Carolina

Student-Faculty Ratio: 18 to 1

Enrollment: 12,142

50 Most Affordable Historically Black Colleges and Universities - North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University

With 130 years of educational experience, North Carolina A & T University is a low-cost HBCU in Greensboro, North Carolina. NCATU is a doctoral, research university with a history of a quality STEM education. Sample undergraduate degrees include options like Atmospheric Sciences and Meteorology, Agricultural Education, Child Development and Family Studies, Food and Nutritional Sciences, Mechanical Engineering, and Psychology. Graduate degrees and professional certifications are also available. North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.

Net-Price Tuition: $9,378

#3 Tennessee State University

Nashville, Tennessee

Student-Faculty Ratio: 12 to 1

Enrollment: 7,774

50 Most Affordable Historically Black Colleges and Universities - Tennessee State University

With a motto like “Excellence is our habit,” you can expect consistency in a quality education at Tennessee State University, an affordable HBCU in Nashville, TN. Students can pick from undergraduate, graduate, on-campus, and distance learning options. An honors college and summer programs are also available. Majors include Architectural Engineering, Cardio-Respiratory Care Sciences, Early Childhood Education, Economics and Finance, and Human Sciences. Tennessee State University is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools.

Net-Price Tuition: $9,186

#2 Fayetteville State University

Fayetteville, North Carolina

Student-Faculty Ratio: 17 to 1

Enrollment: 6,318

50 Most Affordable Historically Black Colleges and Universities - Fayetteville State University

Fayetteville State University, a low-cost HBCU in North Carolina, began as the Howard School in 1867. It was started by seven black citizens as a way to educate young black children. Now–though the mission has expanded–FSU still holds true to its original mission of educating young minds. Students can choose from academic disciplines like Education, Business, and Technology (among others!). In addition, some non-degree military disciplines are available like Defense and Homeland Security and military education. FSU is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools.

Net-Price Tuition: $5,685

#1 Elizabeth City State University

Elizabeth City, North Carolina

Student-Faculty Ratio: 16 to 1

Enrollment: 1,677

50 Most Affordable Historically Black Colleges and Universities - Elizabeth City State University

Elizabeth City State University began in 1891 as Elizabeth City State Colored Normal School as teacher training for black students. Now, ECSU has expanded to offer offers 28 Bachelor’s degrees, professional degrees, and 4 Master’s degrees. While there are many degree options, the school has 3 main areas of focus: integrating technology and education, improving human health and wellness, and advancing natural and aviation sciences. Several impressive rankings with the US News and World ReportMilitary Times, and show the school’s commitment to a quality education. ECSU is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.

Net-Price Tuition: $3,412


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