HBCU Money™ Presents: The George W. Carver 2017’s Top 20 HBCU Research Institutions


Dr. George Washington Carver (January 5, 1864-January 5, 1943) was an American scientist, botanist, educator, and inventor. Carver is best known for his research into alternative crops to cotton, such as peanuts, soybeans, and sweet potatoes. He wanted poor farmers to grow these alternative crops to aid in the nutrition of farm families and to provide another source of cash income to improve the farmer’s quality of life. Dr. Carver is shown at work at Tuskegee University in September 1938. Photo Courtesy National Archives and Records Administration. r

HBCUs continue to go backwards in the research field according to the latest National Science Foundation data. In 2015, research expenditures for the top 20 HBCUs combined for $425.7 million, while 2017 combines for $424.7 million. Over the past five years, HBCU research expenditures have dropped almost 4.7 percent or a loss of $20.7 million.

  • The top ranked HBCU, Howard University, ranked 203rd and the twentieth ranked HBCU, Virginia State University, ranked 325th among America’s college research landscape.
  • The MEAC maintains their dominance with eight schools versus the SWAC’s four.
  • Division II/III schools also comprise four schools on the list.
  • 1890 HBCUs, land-grant universities, dominate the top twenty with eleven of the top HBCU research universities.
  • All HBCUs combined account for $537.8 million in research expenditures. There are 45 PWI/HWCUs who have research budgets above this amount individually.

Rank. HBCU. Previous Year In Parentheses.

  1. Howard University – $45.8 million ($41.0 million)
  2. Florida A&M University – $37.6 million ($45.4 million)
  3. N.C. A&T State Univ. – $37.4 million ($33.8 million)
  4. Morehouse School of Medicine – $36.9 million ($38.8 million)
  5. Alabama A&M University – $31.7 million ($30.3 million)
  6. Jackson State University – $22.8 million ($23.8 million)
  7. Delaware State University – $20.8 million ($21.3 million)
  8. Tennessee State University – $18.1 million ($19.5 million)
  9. Meharry Medical College – $16.8 million ($14.8 million)
  10. Tuskegee University – $16.5 million ($16.5 million)
  11. Hampton University – $16.6 million ($14.2 million)
  12. Alcorn State University – $16.1 million ($8.2 million)
  13. Charles R. Drew University – $15.7 million ($13.4 million)
  14. Morgan State University – $15.0 million ($15.7 million)
  15. S.C. State University – $14.3 million ($13.1 million)
  16. N.C. Central University – $14.1 million ($12.5 million)
  17. Prairie View A&M University – $14.0 million ($12.6 million)
  18. Xavier University of LA. – $12.4 million ($12.1 million)
  19. Langston University – $11.5 million ($11.2 million)
  20. Virginia State University – $10.8 million ($8.1 million)

TOP 20 COMBINED TOTAL: $424.7 million ($425.7 million)

Additional Notes:

The HWCU-HBCU gap for research among top 20 research institutions is $53:1

Top 20 HWCUs Combined: $22.7 billion ($23.2 billion)

Top 20 Average HWCU – $1.2 billion

Top 20 Average HBCU – $21.2 million

Top 20 Median HWCU – $1.1 billion

Top 20 Median HBCU – $16.5 million

Source: National Science Foundation

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